01.04.2013 - UNESCO Office for Iraq

Attacks on Iraqi media unacceptable - United Nations in Iraq

The UN condemned the attacks that targeted several media agencies in Iraq on Monday 1 April 2013, expressing its deep concerns for the dangerous impact of these incidents on freedom of expression in Iraq in case serious procedures are not taken to secure safety of journalists.

“Assaults against media organizations or journalists are unacceptable under any circumstances", said the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Martin Kobler, urging the government of Iraq to ensure that media professionals are protected against all forms of intimidation and violence because of their opinions or thoughts.

"Freedom of Expression is a crucial element for establishing true democracy and building sustainable peace in Iraq", stated UNESCO Director in Iraq Ms. Louise Haxthausen. "Even though a major progress was achieved on the media scene during the last years, these violations show that we still have a long way ahead before we reach a culture that cherishes freedom of expression and access to information", added Ms. Haxthausen. UNESCO Director called for the Iraqi parliament to reconsider the current legislations and proceed with appropriate amendments to secure the safety of journalists and the creation of a media-friendly environment in Iraq.

Based on several news reports, offices of four news papers were attacked on Monday 1 April 2013, by groups of armed men assaulting their staff members and setting the premises of one on.

With more than 360 journalists killed since 2003, the highest rate of impunity worldwide, and 272 violations recorded by the "Media Freedom Observatory" in one year (May 2011- May 2012), Iraq is considered one of the most dangerous countries for media professionals.




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