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Director-General condemns murder of Shihab al-Tamimi, President of the Iraqi Syndicate of Journalists

03-03-2008 (Paris)
Director-General condemns murder of Shihab al-Tamimi, President of the Iraqi Syndicate of Journalists
Stop killing journalists
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the killing of Shihab al-Tamimi, the head of the Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate, who died on 27 February from gunshot wounds sustained four days earlier.
“I condemn the attack on Shihab al-Tamimi,” the Director-General declared. “The crime constitutes a cowardly blow on the whole of Iraqi society. Those who seek to muzzle the fundamental human right of freedom of expression, and press freedom, are sabotaging the reconstruction of Iraq as a free, democratic country. When they attack journalists, they attack every Iraqi’s right and ability to make informed decisions and play a part in the development of the country. These acts must not remain unpunished,” the Director-General concluded.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), unidentified gunmen opened fire on a car carrying Mr al-Tamimi, his son, Rabie al-Tamimi, and an colleague in Baghdad. Rabie al-Tamimi is reported to be recovering from his wounds while the third occupant was not injured, according to the CPJ.

Mr al-Tamimi, 74, had received repeated death threats, according to the CPJ. His life was first threatened in 2005 and repeatedly over the past six months.

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

      · Press Freedom
      · Iraq
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists
      · Towards democracy in Iraq
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