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Director-General condemns the killing of Iraqi journalists Hamid al-Duleimi and Hussein al Jaburi

26-03-2007 (Paris)
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the killing of two Iraqi journalists Hamid al-Duleimi and Hussein al Jaburi. He also called for new measures to counter the decimation of media professionals in Iraq.
"I condemn the killing of Hamid al-Duleimi and Hussein al Jaburi," the Director-General said. "Both these media professionals have paid with their lives for their courage and determination to pursue their professional commitment in a hostile environment. Iraq and the world require such courage to make sure that the basic human right of freedom of expression is mobilized on the side of democracy and rule of law. I call on all parties concerned, to study new and more effective ways to investigate these crimes and bring their culprits to justice. This is vital" Mr Matsuura concluded, "to counter the continued decimation of media professionals in Iraq."

According to the Reporters Without Borders, the killing of Mr al-Duleimi and Mr al Jaburi brings to 155 the number of journalists killed in Iraq since the start of the conflict four years ago.

The body of Hamid al-Duleimi, 37, a producer of TV channel al-Nahrain was found on 19 March in the Baghdad morgue, two days after he had been abducted. Mr al-Duleimi is the third al-Nahrain employee to have been murdered in less than one year.

Hussein al Jaburi, the 63-year-old editor of the daily newspaper al-Safir, died on 16 March in a hospital in Amman, Jordan, from injuries he sustained during an attack outside his home in Baghdad on 11 February.

UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”
Related themes/countries

      · Iraq
      · Freedom of Expression: News Archives 2007
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