World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UNESCO deplores murder of Iraqi, Sri Lankan journo

UNESCO chief deplores murder of Iraqi, Sri Lankan journalists

Once again defending freedom of the press as a vital ingredient in democracy, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the murder of journalists in two of the world’s crisis flashpoints – Iraq and Sri Lanka.

Iraqi journalist Alaa Hassan, who worked for Inter Press Service (IPS), was shot down on his way to work, while Sri Lankan journalist Sampath Lakmal de Silva, who had covered the conflict between the government and Tamil separatists for the weekly Sathdina, was reportedly abducted at the weekend in Colombo. His body was found the next day.

“Murders are part of the tragic daily reality of Iraq today, and journalists have to confront this reality more than any other profession,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a statement on Mr. Hassan’s murder.

“To continue to do their job of informing the public without restriction, they are permanently exposed to the violence that has become so horrifyingly commonplace. We salute their courage, but we must also do the utmost to improve their security, as the work of journalists is essential to bring democracy back to a country that has endured decades of oppression and violence,” he added.

According to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), 131 journalists and other media staff have been killed in Iraq since the war began in 2003.

Mr. Matsuura said it was “crucial” that the circumstances of Mr. Lakmal de Silva’s abduction and murder be elucidated without delay and the perpetrators brought to justice. “Democracy is truly in great danger when crimes against journalists go unpunished,” he declared. “Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right that must be protected.”

According to the Free Media Movement (FMM), six people working for the media, including four journalists, have been killed in Sri Lanka in the last 16 months, while not a single crime against a journalist has been solved in the country for the last 20 years.

UNESCO has a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom, and Mr. Matsuura has issued frequent condemnations of the murder of journalists around the world.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC