Top UN official calls for improving safety for Iraqi journalists after recent attack

16 March 2009
UNESCO Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom has condemned the recent suicide attack in Baghdad that killed 33 people, including two journalists, and called for measures to ensure safety for media professionals in Iraq.

“Such indiscriminate killings are contrary to every law,” Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said in a news release issued today.

Haider Hashim, a correspondent for private TV broadcaster Al-Baghdadia, and cameraman Suhaib Adnan were among the victims of the 10 March attack. Ibrahim al-Katib, a reporter for Iraqi state television, Iraqia TV, was gravely wounded.

“I must, once again, urge the authorities to improve the safety of journalists, a profession of brave women and men whose work is important for society as a whole as it seeks to restore democracy and rule of law. The toll paid by the profession in Iraq is shocking,” the Director-General stated.

The attack brings to 295 the number of Iraqi journalists killed in the country since April 2003, according to the Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate.


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