Four armed men broke into the home of Kurdistan TV video journalist Arkan Sharif, 54, at 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 30, 2017 in Iraq’s disputed Kirkuk province and stabbed him to death after locking his family in another room. Kurdistan TV is close to former regional leader Masoud Barzani, whose failed push for independence led to military and economic retribution by the Iraqi government. Iraqi security forces and Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite militias seized Kirkuk in mid-October 2017 following a vote on independence and Kurdish media have accused the paramilitaries of carrying out a campaign of retribution against Kurdish civilians. The day before Sharif’s death, Iraq’s media supervisory body had banned Kurdistan TV.