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Director-General condemns execution of al-Sabah managing editor Filaih Wadi Mijthab

21-06-2007 (Paris)
Director-General condemns execution of al-Sabah managing editor Filaih Wadi Mijthab
Stop killing journalists
© Derstandard
Filaih Wadi Mijthab was found dead on 15 June near a Sadr City mosque.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder of the Iraqi journalist Filaih Wadi Mijthab, kidnapped on 13 June and executed by his abductors.

“I condemn the killing of Filaih Wadi Mijthab,” declared Mr Matsuura. “His abduction and execution add yet another name to the long list of journalists and other media professionals who have been murdered. The profession is regularly targeted in Iraq, when it has a crucial role to play in the country’s reconstruction. It is in everyone’s interest, and in the interest of democracy, that the press be better protected. Once again I call on Iraqi and international authorities to improve the security of the media and the people who work for them.”

Filaih Wadi Mijthab was the managing editor of the Iraqi daily al-Sabah, a newspaper that is part of the network of Iraqi government-owned media. Under the previous regime, he wrote a column for the Baasist daily al-Thawra.

He was abducted on 13 June while driving to his office, in the Al-Habibiya district of Sadr City. His body was found on 15 June near a Sadr City mosque.

According to Reporters without Borders, 14 journalists are being held hostage in Iraq, and some have already spent months in captivity. And just in the last six months 29 journalists have been killed, more than one every week.

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
      · Towards democracy in Iraq
      · Freedom of Expression: News Archives 2007
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Contact information

  • UNESCO Press Release No. 2007 – 67

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