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Two More Journalists Murdered In Iraq

UNESCO Calls On All Sides To Protect Journalists In Iraq After Two More Murders

Condemning the recent murder of two reporters in Iraq as an outrageous attack on human rights, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today once again called on all authorities in the strife-torn country to give greater priority to improving the safety of journalists.

Hind Ismail, a 28-year-old reporter for the local daily As-Saffir, was killed in the northern city of Mosul last week and Fakher Haider of the New York Times killed this week in the southern city of Basra, bringing to 55 the number of journalists of killed in Iraq since the start of the war there in 2003, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“I cannot find words strong enough to express my outrage at the deadly campaign waged against journalists and media workers in Iraq,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a statement, the latest on the carnage in Iraq by his agency, whose mandate includes the defence of freedom of expression and press freedom.

“I am also at a loss for words with which to express my admiration for these women and men who pay with their lives for their right to tell us what they see and think, and for our right to read and hear about what is going on,” he added.

“The work of these people is essential for the reconstruction of Iraq as a free country and their murderers are clearly trying to crush the basic human right of freedom of expression along with all the other human rights which the people of Iraq deserve to enjoy.

“It is in the name of these basic human rights that I exhort all authorities in Iraq to give greater priority, despite the difficult situation on the ground, to improving the safety of those journalists brave enough to carry out their important work in such appalling conditions,” he concluded. Mr. Matsuura has frequently condemned the murder of journalists around the world as an attack on one of the fundamental pillars of democracy.

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