The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today expressed grave concern about the safety of journalists in Iraq following news of the murder of two reporters in recent days: Adel Mohsen Hussien and Wahdan Al-Hamdani.
“I condemn the killing of Adel Mohsen Hussien and Wahdan Al-Hamdani,” the Director-General said. “It is essential that the authorities investigate and bring to justice those responsible for crimes against media workers that affect the whole of Iraqi society,” Ms Bokova added.
Adel Mohsen Hussien, 43, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq on 2 December. Hussien was a writer and journalist who worked for several Iraqi media and was a representative of the Iraqi Journalists Rights Defense Association.
TV journalist Wahdan Al-Hamdani was killed on 27 November while covering a funeral in Basra. Al-Hamdani worked as a cameraman for Baghdad-based satellite channel Al Taghee.
This year, the Director-General condemned the killing of seven journalists in Iraq, including Hussien and Al-Hamdani. Their names are registered on the dedicated webpage UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +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…”