UNESCO chief pays tribute to Iraqi journalists after murder of two more media workers

UNESCO chief pays tribute to Iraqi journalists after murder of two more media workers

UNESCO head Koïchiro Matsuura
Following the murder of yet two more Iraqi media workers, the head of the United Nations body mandated to protect freedom of expression today paid tribute to the courage of journalists willing to face such dangers in the war-torn country.

“The shocking number of media professionals killed in Iraq continues to grow week after week, and since January more than 35 journalists have paid with their lives for their determination to fulfil their mission,” UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a statement.

Raad Jaafar Hamadi, a journalist with the daily Al Sabah, was shot dead in his car in the east of Baghdad on 22 November. Fadhila Abdelkarim, an administrative staff worker of TV station Nainawa, was shot outside her home in Mosul on 26 November.

According to Reporters without Borders (RSF), a total of 137 journalists and media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the start of the war in 2003, while 51 have been kidnapped. Four of the kidnap victims are still being held hostage, according to RSF.

“I am truly impressed by the courage of Iraqi journalists willing to face such danger and I call on the authorities, once again, to do all they can to provide them with better protection,” Mr. Matsuura said.

Mr. Matsuura has issued frequent condemnations of the murder of journalists around the world.