Building peace in the minds of men and women

Director-General calls for urgent measures to improve safety of journalists in Iraq following murder of Firas Mohammed Attiyah

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of Iraqi journalist Firas Mohammed Attiyah and urged measures to improve the safety of journalists in the country.

“I condemn the killing of Firas Mohammed Attiyah,” the Director-General said. “It is vital that the authorities take immediate action to improve the safety of journalists and media workers, as an essential part of protecting freedom of expression and media freedoms in the country.”

Firas Mohammed Attiyah, a 28-year-old freelance reporter for Fallujah TV, was killed in a bomb attack in the town of Khaldiyah, near Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, on 20 January. Two police were killed in the attack which also injured Muayad Ibrahim, a freelance reporter for Al-Anbar TV.

Firas Mohammed Attiyah is the first journalist to be killed this year in Iraq where 15 killings of media professionals were condemned by the Director-General in 2013. The condemnations are available online.


Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at),  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the 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…”