United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Director-General expresses deep concern for safety of journalists in Iraq

UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today voiced deep concern about the safety of journalists in Iraq following two separate incidents on March 18 which led to the death of members of television crews from coalition-backed local broadcaster Diyala TV, and Dubai-based Al-Arabiya.

Three people died in an attack on a Diyala TV minibus in Baquba: journalist Nadia Nasrat, technician Majid Rachid and security guard Mohamad Ahmad.

A separate incident, at a military checkpoint in Baghdad, led to the death of Ali Abdel Aziz, a cameraman for Al-Arabiya television, and correspondent Ali al-Khatib.

“I am very concerned about the death of journalists, wherever they take place,” the Director-General declared, “and I am particularly alarmed by the heavy toll paid by the profession in Iraq and by the lack of safety for journalists working in the country.”

“All possible measures to enable journalists to work in conditions of reasonable safety must be taken to allow for the existence of independent and pluralistic media, essential for the reconstruction of Iraq,” urged the Director-General.

Source Press Release No 2004 - 28 - Corrigendum - This text replaces Press Release No.2004-28 issued on March 22 regarding two incidents that led to the deaths of members of two television crews in Iraq on March 18.
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Publication Date 22 Mar 2004
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