The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of two Iraqi journalists and called for an immediate investigation into their deaths.
“I condemn the murder of Mohamed Karim al-Badrani and Mohamed Ghanem,” said the Director-General of the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova.
“It is essential that the authorities investigate these cases and bring their culprits to trial. Letting such crimes go unpunished severely undermines journalists’ ability to carry out their professional duties, and societies’ freedom to engage in open and informed debate.”
The two broadcast journalists were shot dead on Saturday while filming a report about a market in Mosul for the independent television channel Al-Sharqiya. Their deaths bring to three the number of journalists murdered in Iraq this year.
Ms. Bokova also denounced the shooting of a Colombian newspaper vendor José Darío Arenas, who was an occasional contributor to the newspaper he sold, EXTRA del Quindí.
Mr. Darío Arenas was killed on 28 September in the city of Caicedonia because of an article he wrote in the newspaper.
“An attack on a vendor because of the content of the media is an attack on press freedom,” the Ms. Bokova said, and called for an investigation into the murder.
“It is important to ensure that the distributors of news enjoy the same safe working conditions we demand for all those working on the gathering of news.”