Director-General deplores death of two media personnel in Iraq and calls for improved safetyUNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today deplored the death of two media personnel in Iraq on Tuesday and called for measures to improve the safety of journalists working in the country.
“I deplore the savage shooting to death of translator Duraid Isa Mohammed and driver Yasser Khatab on their way back to Baghdad from an assignment for Cable News Network”, said Mr Matsuura. “The attack on the CNN convoy, which also targeted cameraman Scott McWhinnie who was injured, must be condemned.”
“The work of the media is essential for democracy and good governance, as recognized by UNESCO’s Member States which, during the Organization’s General Conference in 1997, adopted a resolution calling for measures to be taken to end violence against journalists,” the Director-General added. “Attacks on all media workers exercising their professional duty, are equally unacceptable.”
“I deplore the fact that the media have had to pay such a high tribute in Iraq where a total of 22 journalists and media staff have been killed since March 2003. It is vital that the media, both domestic and foreign, be able to work in conditions of safety in Iraq if peace and rule of law are to be established in the country,” Mr Matsuura concluded.