The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the murder of yet another journalist in Iraq, where some 40 media professionals have been killed this year alone.
Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), issued a statement deploring the killing of Adnane al-Safi, who died after being shot in the head by a sniper on his way home from work in northern Baghdad on 27 July.
“The murder of Adnane al-Safi strikes yet another blow against peace and democracy in Iraq,” Mr. Matsuura said. “His killers stand condemned in the eyes of the world, and I call upon the authorities in Iraq to do their utmost to bring those responsible to justice.”
Mr. Matsuura also renewed his call for Iraqi authorities to improve the security conditions for media workers trying to operate in the violence-wracked country. According to the group Reporters sans Frontières, Mr. al-Safi is the 40th journalist to be killed in Iraq this year, far more than in any other nation in the world. Since United States-led forces invaded in March 2003, 198 journalists and their assistants have been killed, 14 have been kidnapped and two others are missing.