Building peace in the minds of men and women

Director-General condemns assassination of journalist Arkan Sharifi in Iraq

03 November 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called for an investigation into the killing of television cameraman Arkan Sharifi in the Iraqi city of Daquq, in the Governorate of Kirkuk, on 30 October.

“I condemn the murder of Arkan Sharifi,” said the Director-General. “In the interest of defending both freedom of expression and freedom of information, I urge the authorities to investigate this crime and take all legal steps available to end violence against the media.”

In the early hours of 30 October, armed men broke into the home of Kurdistan Television camera operator Arkan Sharifi and killed him.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists


Media contact: Sylvie Coudray,, +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…”