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Iraq: Reporter’s Murder, UNESCO Lauds Journalists

In Condemning Reporter’s Murder UNESCO Lauds Courage Of Journalists In Iraq

Praising the courage of reporters who take “enormous personal risks” in Iraq to provide the public with information needed “to exercise their democratic rights and duties,” the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has voiced outrage at the murder of an Iraqi television journalist.

Raeda Mohammed Wageh Wazzan, from the regional public television station Iraqiya, was found dead on 25 February, five days after she and her son were kidnapped in the city of Mosul - the 33rd journalists killed in Iraq in the past two years. Her son was released after three days.

According to the non-governmental organization (NGO) Reporters without Borders, Ms. Wazzan was the 21st journalist kidnapped in Iraq since March 2003 – and the second to have been murdered by her abductors after Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni, assassinated last August.

“Ms. Wazzan proved, through her commitment to her profession, as her colleagues continue to do, that the campaign waged by terrorists in Iraq to silence the media is failing, - UNESCO Director-General Koachiro Matsuura said in the latest of a long series of messages he has issued on the murder of journalists around the world.

“The terrorists’ campaign of intimidation, violence and murder can only be qualified as a succession of gratuitous crimes against innocent persons and against the basic human right of freedom of expression, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” he added.

UNESCO’s mandate includes the defence of freedom of expression and press freedom.

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