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Director-General condemns murder of poet and television producer Jawad al-Daami in Baghdad

27-09-2007 (Paris)
Director-General condemns murder of poet and television producer Jawad al-Daami in Baghdad
Stop killing journalists
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The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder of Jawad al-Daami, a producer for the independent Cairo-based television channel Al-Baghdadia in Baghdad on the 23rd of September.
“I condemn the murder of Jawad al-Daami,” the Director-General said. “The targeting of journalists and writers is an unacceptable attack on the human rights of the people of Iraq. There can be no excuse for the killing of writers and poets, and I call on the authorities of Iraq to do all in their power to stem this intolerable blood-letting.”

Mr Al-Daami, who worked on cultural and social programs for Al-Baghdadia, was shot in the head in the southwestern neighbourhood of Al-Qadissiya. A well-known poet, he had gone to Baghdad on his day of rest to attend a cultural conference. He is the second employee of the channel to be killed in the country. So'oud Muzahim al-Shoumari, an Al-Baghdadia correspondent, was found dead in Baghdad's southern district of Doura in April 2006, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

The CPJ says that at least 112 journalists, not including Al-Daami, and 40 media support staffers have been killed in Iraq since March 2003. Eighty-five percent of the killed media workers were Iraqis, according to the CPJ.

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 purpose the Organization is required 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

      · Freedom of Expression: News Archives 2007
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists: News Archives 2007
      · Iraq: News Archives 2007
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