Monday, August 15, 2005

Director-General condemns killing of U.S. reporter Steven Vincent in Basra and calls for improved safety: UNESCO-CI (3.01b)

UNESCO's full statement(3.01b):

"UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura today condemned the killing in Basra, in southern Iraq, of Steven Vincent, a freelance reporter from the U.S.A., on August 2. He also urged that greater priority be given to improve the safety of journalists in the country.

"'I condemn the murder of Steven Vincent,' the Director-General said, 'and I denounce the cowardice and brutality of his killers who also injured Nour Weidi, Mr Vincent's Iraqi translator. Such acts only contribute to prolong the suffering of the people of Iraq. There can be no ethical or religious justification for the killing of brave individuals who take enormous risks to keep Iraq and the world informed. Attacking them,' Mr Matsuura added, 'is tantamount to attacking democracy and rule of law, in other words, to attacking the people of Iraq themselves. I call on all those in position of authority in the country to give due priority to improving the safety of media professionals who have paid an unacceptable toll in the exercise of their profession in Iraq.'"

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