18 October 2007 The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today continued his campaign to spotlight media killings in Iraq, deploring the deaths of the latest five to lose their lives there.
“I condemn the killings of Salih Saif Aldin, Jasim and Mohhamed Nofaan, Zeyard Tariq, and Dhi Abdul-Razak al-Dibo,” said Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. “The apparently systematic targeting of journalists in Iraq shows how disturbing it is for the war mongers to see their crimes exposed. This in turn highlights how important free and independent reporting is for the restoration of peace and democracy in Iraq.”
Mr. Matsuura repeated his standing tribute “to the men and women, most of them Iraqi nationals, who show such indomitable courage in the face of danger and carry on with their important professional work.”
All of the latest media victims of violence in Iraq were Iraqi nationals. Salih Saif Aldin was shot at close range while photographing fire-damaged houses in a street in Baghdad on 14 October, UNESCO said. On the same day, Jasim and Mohhamed Nofaan and Zeyard Tariq were murdered on the road to Kirkuk . Dhi Abdul-Razak al-Dibo was ambushed and killed near the city of Kirku north of Baghdad on 15 October. None of the gunmen involved in these crimes have been identified.
According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the new killings bring to at least 54 the number of journalists and media assistants assassinated in Iraq since the start of the year. The International Federation of Journalists numbers a total of 234 media killings in the country since 2003.