The story of Iraqi photographer Mushtaq Abbas (pictured left)

The first UK talk by Iraqi photojournalist Mushtaq Abbas, who was forced to flee his home country after 13 years working for the Reuters agency in Iraq. 

Mushtaq joins us at CFCCA in Manchester's Northern Quarter to talk about his experience as a photographer in exile, and discuss his life as an active photojournalist in Iraq, before he was forced to leave. 

There will be an hour talk followed by an audience Q&A. Refreshments provided. 

About Mushtaq Abbas 

Mushtaq Mohammed Abbas Al-Graiti is a 35 year old Iraqi freelance photographer and video journalist who worked for Reuters news agency for 13 years. He has also worked for the European Press Agency and for television channels and websites in Iraq. Many of his images have been used by national newspapers in this country and by news media organisations all over the world.

Based in Karbala, Mushtaq travelled the country, covering the war and ensuing conflicts in Iraq. He often found himself working on the frontline and in extremely dangerous situations.

Although most of his work is comprised of images of conflict, he has photographed cultural and social events in Iraq as well.

Mushtaq is known throughout Iraq as a Reuters photo journalist, his by-line appeared on much of the work he did for the agency. Only last year, he took part in a security training course in Northern Ireland organised by Reuters for their journalists who were working in conflict situations.

Until April 2015, Mushtaq had a good relationship with Shia officials in Karbala. But during that month, a Reuters journalist wrote a report which was published internationally and claimed that some members of the local Popular Mobilisation against Daesh had carried out looting and bombings during the liberation of Tikrit. Reuters was threatened following this report and the agency warned all its journalists to keep a low profile.

Mushtaq did not have anything to do with this particular news report but, because he was known to work for Reuters, he and his family were threatened and attacked. The death threats continued and, in early September 2015, Mushtaq left Iraq and claimed asylum in the UK.  He was granted refugee status earlier this year and is now living in Bury.  He is currently trying to bring his wife and three children to the UK and is looking for work in this country.

This event is free but donations are appreciated. Please register your place at the bottom of this page. You need to be signed in to do so. This event is in partnership with the National Union of Journalists. ​

About the NUJ 

The National Union of Journalists was founded in 1907 and is one of the biggest journalists' unions in the world. Many of the founding members were journalists at the Manchester Guardian, Manchester Evening News and other North West newspapers.

Today, NUJ members include writers, photographers and broadcasters working as staff, casuals and freelances in broadcasting, newspapers, magazines, books, public relations and new media.

The Union strives to improve the pay and conditions of its members and to protect and promote media freedom, professionalism and ethical standards. The NUJ has members in towns and cities through the UK and Ireland, and in parts of Europe. Through the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the NUJ has strong links with other journalists' unions across the globe.

The NUJ's Manchester & Salford Branch is run by members who work in journalism. The Branch is supported by union staff at head office in London and at the North and Midlands regional office in Manchester.

Branch members include several exiled journalists like Mushtaq who have been forced to flee their countries after being threatened and persecuted for doing their work.

This event is free but 50% of any donation you make will go directly to Mushtaq who is seeking equipment and initial support to allow him to re-establish his career in the UK. The remaining 50% will support Redeye's future programme. 

In addition please contact Redeye if you have any unused (perhaps spare or replaced) equipment that Mushtaq can use, particularly Canon DSLRs or lenses.

Please register your place below. You need to be signed in to do so.

Accessibility and timing
This event takes place at Chinese Centre for Contemporary Art, Thomas Street, Manchester. Doors open at 18.00. The event takes place from 18.30-20.00. The venue is fully accessible. 

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