Iraq: UN agency condemns killing of teenage cameraman

2 November 2009

The United Nations agency charged with defending the freedom of the press today deplored the killing of an Iraqi television cameraman who died when a bomb exploded outside his house in the northern city of Kirkuk.

Orhan Hijran, an 18-year-old who worked for the Al-Rasheed satellite TV channel, was killed following the explosion on 21 October, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported.

UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura issued a statement from the agency’s headquarters in Paris in which he noted that “a shocking number of Iraqi journalists and media workers have paid with their lives” for carrying out their work in recent years.

“It is essential for the reconstruction of a free and democratic Iraq that the authorities improve the safety of journalists and enable them to carry out their work for the benefit of all.”

Iraq remains one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a non-governmental organization, estimates that more than 200 journalists or media support workers have been killed across the country since the United States-led invasion in March 2003.

 

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