27.03.2003 -

UNESCO Urges Belligerents in Iraq to Ensure Safety of Journalists

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, urges all the parties involved in the war in Iraq to respect the rights of journalists under international law, to refrain from targeting the media and to ensure the free flow of information.

The Director-General states "I call upon all belligerents to respect Article 79 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Convention which states that 'Journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians', as well to recognize the need for the free flow of information".




The Director-General also deplores the death of Australian photographer Paul Moran and British war correspondent Terry Lloyd. Two other journalists are missing and two have been wounded, according to different sources. "In a war that also includes a fierce media battle, the task of seeking independent information is especially vital if world public opinion is to avoid being the target of manipulation and propaganda", he said.

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