The Director-General of UNESCO today called for an investigation into the killing of Iraqi TV presenter Kamiran Salaheddin in the centre of Tikrit on 2 April.
"I condemn the murder of Kamiran Salaheddin, which must be fully investigated. His killing is not only a crime against an individual, but also against the universally recognized human right of freedom of expression," the Director-General said. "Those who use arms to silence the media must not be allowed to prevent journalists from contributing to informed public debate."
Kamiram Salaheddin, a journalist in his mid-30s and father of two, was killed by a bomb placed under his car in his home city of Tikrit. He presented a news and current events programme on Salahaddin TV.
Salaheddin is the first journalist to be killed in Iraq this year but since 2008, a total of 26 Iraqi media workers have been listed on the dedicated page UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists.
In 2011, UNESCO supported conflict reporting training for 24 Iraqi journalists in Kirkuk. It also organized a workshop, "Blogging for the Future," with a view to developing a network of bloggers and citizen reporters in Iraq.
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…”