16.03.2009 -

Director-General condemns Iraqi suicide attack that left 33 people dead, including two journalists

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the suicide attack in Baghdad that killed 33 people, among them two journalists, on 10 March. The Director-General also called for measures to improve the safety of journalists in Iraq.

"I condemn the attack", said Mr Matsuura. "Such indiscriminate killings are contrary to every law. Two journalists, Haider Hashim and Suhaib Adnan, were among the victims of this attack. I must, once again, urge the authorities to improve the safety of journalists, a profession of brave women and men whose work is important for society as a whole as it seeks to restore democracy and rule of law. The toll paid by the profession in Iraq is shocking", the Director-General concluded.

 

The private TV broadcaster Al-Baghdadia said that their correspondent Haider Hashim was killed in the blast, as was cameraman Suhaib Adnan. Ibrahim al-Katib, a reporter for Iraqi state television, Iraqia TV, was gravely wounded.

 

This attack brings to 295 the number of Iraqi journalists killed in the country since April 2003, according to the Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate.

UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to "further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations." To realize this purpose the Organization is required to "collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image..."




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