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


‘Senseless Violence’ Seeks to Destroy Iraqi Unity

‘Senseless Violence’ Seeks to Destroy Iraqi Unity, UNESCO Chief Warns

New York, Nov 28 2006 9:00AM

Warning that “senseless violence” could destroy the unity of the Iraqi nation, the head of the United Nations body mandated to protect freedom of expression today deplored recent attacks that have left hundreds dead or injured in Baghdad and claimed the lives of a comedian and two journalists.

“These devastating attacks create a climate of hate and sectarianism,” UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in his latest cry of alarm over the mounting toll, which has claimed at least 161 media workers in Iraq since the start of the United States-led war in March 2003, with 60 deaths this year alone, according to the International Federation of Journalists.

“I am deeply distressed by the senseless violence unleashed to destroy the unity of the Iraqi nation,” he added.

More than 200 people are estimated to have been killed in an assault on the mainly Shiite Sadr City neighbourhood last week while scores more died in ensuing attacks.

Also killed were comedian Walid Hassan and journalists Luma Mohammad Reyad and Fadia Mohammed Abid. Mr Hassan, the star of a weekly programme “Caricatures” on Al Sharkiya television died as he tried to escape a kidnapping attempt in Baghdad. He made fun of the US army, Iraqi politicians, and both Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.

Ms. Reyad reported for the Al Dustoor newspaper and Ms Abid was a journalist for the daily newspaper Al-Masar in Mosul.

“Mr Hassan, a comedian, was killed for exercising his freedom to speak his mind, which includes the freedom to use humour,” Mr. Matsuura said. “Ms. Reyad and Ms. Abid are the latest journalists in a roster of heroic victims, dedicated professionals killed in a wanton campaign of violence.”

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


ADC: Statement On The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Akleh

Early this morning in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, revered Palestinian voice Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was assassinated by Israeli Occupation Forces snipers...

Ukraine: UN Rights Office Probe Spotlights Harrowing Plight Of Civilians

Almost 76 days since Russia invaded Ukraine, countless civilians remain caught up in the horror and destruction of war, UN rights investigators said on Tuesday... More>>

UN: Michele Bachelet On Inter-religious Clashes In Ethiopia

I am deeply distressed by the recent violent clashes between Muslims and Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia in which at least 30 people were reportedly killed and more than 100 others injured... More>>

Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>

UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>