09.05.2013 - UNESCO Office for Iraq

UNESCO Director-General deplores murder of Iraqi broadcaster Muwaffak al-Ani

Paris, 9 May - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today deplored the death of radio journalist Muwaffak al-Ani, who was killed in a bomb explosion in west Baghdad on Monday 6 May.

“I am saddened and deeply concerned to hear of the murder of Muwaffak al-Ani,” said the Director-General. “He was one of Iraq’s best known media voices; a man dedicated to his profession and determined to pass his knowledge and skills to a new generation of journalists. He will be sorely missed, in a country emerging from many years of conflict and trying to rebuild itself".

“In such situations, the media has a special role to play. Journalists must be allowed to work in safety - to fulfill their duty of informing the public, and to uphold the right of freedom of expression. Impunity for crimes against them must not be tolerated, and I trust the Iraqi authorities will do everything within their power to bring those responsible for this attack, which also claimed several other lives, to justice.”

Muwaffak al-Ani was one of Iraq’s longest-serving broadcasters. He began his career in radio and television in 1962 at Radio Baghdad and had worked for several of the country’s major networks since then. He also taught radio journalism.

According to media reports he was killed, along with his brother and several others, when a bomb exploded outside the Mansour Mosque in west Baghdad during evening prayer on Monday.

Muwaffak al-Ani is the third journalist killed in Iraq over the past 12 months. He is remembered on the dedicated web page UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists.

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