UNESCO Director-General deplores death of Iraqi cameraman Alwan al-Ghorabi
The Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova today deplored the death of Iraqi cameraman Alwan al-Ghorabi, who was killed in a car bomb explosion in the southern city of Diwaniyya on 21 June.
“The death of Alwan al-Ghorabi reminds us of how precarious the security situation in Iraq remains,” the Director-General said. “And media professionals, working to keep citizens informed are particularly exposed. I deplore this killing and urge the authorities in Iraq to do everything possible to improve security for the media, which has such a central role to play in the country’s reconstruction.”
Alwan was a cameraman for the Afaq satellite channel, owned by the Dawa Party of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. According to news reports, he was with several other journalists at the entrance of a government building when the bomb exploded.
The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that Alwan is the fourth journalist killed in Iraq this year.
UNESCO is the 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…”