Medicines out of control… ASAAD AL-ZALZALEE

Country/area: Iraq

Organisation: raise your voice – DARK – The New World Electronic Newspaper

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 30/01/2021



Asaad Al-Zalzali is an investigative journalist. I started working in the journalistic and media field since 2004, and I produced and edited investigative investigations on human organ trade, corruption, human rights, drug theft from government treasures, and corrupt food imported from the government. Award winning:

  • A prize from Darkness to Light, which is being held by Al-Ana’s network for the best documentaries 2020
  • Arab Press Award Dubai 2019, Investigative Journalism category
  • Khaled Al-Khatib Award for best journalistic work in conflict areas around the world organized by Russia Today Channel in Moscow 2018
  • The Samir Kassir Award organized by the European Union Mission in Lebanon for two years, respectively, 2017 and 2018


  • The Bright Light Award organized by the World Investigative Journalism Network 2017


  • Jury Prize 2015 ARIJ Network Festival for Investigative Journalism
  • Jury Prize DIG Festival Italy 2017
  • Personality of the Year Award for Best Investigative Journalist from the 2018 Iraqi Media Forum
  • Ministry of Youth and Sports Award for the best youth journalistic investigation 2014

Project description:

The investigation reveals the leakage of government-supported drugs from the warehouses of government hospitals and health centers to the shelves of fake pharmacies and drug stores on the sidewalk.
It also shows the danger of selling and diagnosing medicines in these pharmacies and kiosks by illiterate people on poor citizens in the popular areas of the capital Baghdad and the rest of the Iraqi provinces.
The investigation also indicates the boom in drug sales in these pharmacies and kiosks during the spread of the Corona pandemic without any government oversight.

Impact reached:

Make a big impact representing
Launching a large government campaign to arrest many of the owners of these pharmacies
He expelled the warehouse manager responsible for drug leakage in Baghdad
And the launch of the largest campaign in the country to monitor drug leakage

Techniques/technologies used:

the matrix

What was the hardest part of this project?

The risk of entering dangerous neighborhoods and photographing drug sellers and pharmacies owners
Get exclusive documents
And confront the officials

What can others learn from this project?

Uncover the facts
and perseverance
check and check
The investigation took two years
plural in writing between the word and the picture

Project links: