Director-General of UNESCO condemns killing of Iraqi journalist
Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, today condemned the murder of Iraqi journalist Mazen Mardan al-Baghdadi on 21 November in Mosul, northern Iraq.
“I condemn the killing of Mazen Mardan al-Baghdadi,” said the Director-General. “In carrying out his professional duties, he helped to uphold the basic right of freedom of expression. I call on the authorities in Iraq to investigate this grave incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Mazen Mardan al-Baghdadi was a reporter for Al-Mosuliya television. He was just 18 years old and had been working for the television station for the past seven months presenting two talk shows, "Sabah al-Kheir" (Good morning) and "Al-Mosul fi Isbou" (Mosul in a Week). Local reports suggest he was shot outside his home on Sunday 21 November. .
Mazen Mardan al-Baghdadi is the fifth journalist to be killed in Iraq this year.
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 the Organization is requested 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…”