WPFD: UNESCO celebrates with Iraqi journalists
Under the global scope of the World Press Freedom Day and in solidarity with media professionals and human rights activists around the world, the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate (IJS), together with UNESCO, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Arab Journalists' Federation (AJF), held a special conference gathering national and international stakeholders to debate on how to promote freedom of expression in Iraq.
Professionals from Iraqi media institutions, UN experts, members from the Iraqi Council of Representatives, officials from the Prime Minister's office and Ministries of Defense and Interior, in addition to representatives of prominent local and international NGOs such as International Media Support (IMS), Institute for War Peace Reporting (IWPR) and the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) were among the participants in this conference that took place on 4 May 2013 in the Iraqi capital.
Important issues were highlighted during this event, such as means of enhancing the protection of Iraqi journalists and promoting freedom of expression, the problem of impunity in Iraq, as well as the different measures taken by the Iraqi authorities in the media field, and particularly the recent decision to suspend licenses for ten satellite channels in Iraq. Participants also discussed the flaws of the current legislative environment.
Furthermore, remembering the martyrs of the press in Iraq, the high level panel of speakers that featured experts from the attending organizations, including the Director of UNESCO office in Iraq Louise Haxthausen and the head of the IJS Mr. Moaed Al-Lami, agreed on the need to find solutions to address the issue of impunity of the journalists' murders, and to offset press victims and their families.
Finally, participants issued a number of recommendations to be revealed at a major national conference that will be held in the coming weeks to discuss the implementation of the UN Action Plan, a special document prepared by the UN to ensure the safety of journalists and combat impunity in selected countries, including Iraq.
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