Director-General condemns killing of Iraqi reporter Dyar Abas Ahmed
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the killing of Iraqi reporter Dyar Abas Ahmed who was shot dead in Kirkuk on 10 October.
"I condemn the killing of Dyar Abas Ahmed," the Director-General said. "The murder of a journalist is a reprehensible crime that affects society as a whole. The frequency of such crimes in Iraq is unacceptable. It is essential that the Iraqi authorities do all they can to bring the culprits of this crime to justice and do all in their power to improve the safety of journalists in the country."
Dyar Abas Ahmed, a reporter for the independent online news site <a target="_blank" href="http://www.eyeiraq.com">Eye Iraq</a> was shot repeatedly by unknown assailants as he was walking with a friend in the city of Kirkuk, some 220 km north of Baghdad. Dyra Abas Ahmed was in his 20s.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at least 135 other journalists have been killed in Iraq since March 2003.
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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