UNESCO chief condemns murder of yet another Iraqi journalist
The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the killing of yet another Iraqi journalist following the murder in Baghdad of Ali Khalil
Koïchiro Matsuura also spoke out against the abduction of another Iraqi print journalist, Salam Duhi al-Sudani, who has been missing since 9 May.
“I condemn the murder of Ali Khalil, and the abduction of Salam Duhi al-Sudani,” Koichiro Matsuura said of the journalist, who worked for the daily newspaper al-Zaman.
Calling for an end to the killing of Iraqi journalists, he said voiced admiration for their courage. “At the same time, I can but be appalled by the heavy toll these Iraqi women and men have been paying for exercising the basic human right of freedom of expression.”
Police found the body of 22-year old Ali Khalil on 20 May, one hour after he had been abducted by armed men after he had left the house of a relative in the south of Baghdad. Reporters Without Borders linked the killing to the recent publication of articles in which Mr. Khalil quoted members of parliament as calling for the physical elimination of members of armed groups.
Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders said there was no news of Salam Duhi al-Sudani, a journalist in his 50s, who went missing in Baghdad on 9 May. Mr. al-Sudani had worked for the al-Zaoura daily which recently closed for financial reasons.
At least 177 journalists and media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003, according to Reporter without Borders, while two are missing and 13 are currently being held hostage.