ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – UNESCO welcomed Iraq’s first public report recently published regarding the journalists killed in the country.
According to the report, 125 journalists had been killed in different parts of the country since 2006.
During a meeting hosted by the Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission (PMAC), the Deputy Minister of Justice Hussain al-Zuhairi handed over the report to the Director of the UNESCO Office in Iraq Louise Haxthausen.
Members of the committees of the Ministry of Justice, Interior, Foreign Affairs, and Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate were also present.
The report is expected to be introduced by the UNESCO Director General at the 39th session of the General Conference later this year in November.
“This report is a very important milestone for the protection of freedom of expression and press freedom in particular in Iraq,” Haxthausen said.
“We welcome this achievement and look forward to continue working with the Iraqi authorities and the media profession to further strengthen respect for freedom of expression in the country,” she added.
Zuhairi praised the move and stated Iraq is “at a turning point, where [it] is stepping up efforts to ensure the safety of journalists.”
“We are and remain fully committed to make information on the killing of journalists public and to promote enhanced judicial follow-up,” he continued.
The PMAC Deputy Chair Hamid Khalaf mentioned they would work together to promote safety for journalists in the country.
Khalef explained the support included raising awareness, monitoring, reporting, legal investigations, and judicial follow-ups.
Iraq is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world ranking 158th on the 2017 Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany