World Press Freedom Day in Baghdad Celebrated as Iraq Expected to Establish National Mechanism to Protect Journalists [EN/AR]

News and Press Release
Originally published


Baghdad, 3 May 2018 - World Press Freedom Day was marked this year in Iraq with optimism and hope regarding the safety of journalists, for the country is expected to establish a National Mechanism for the safety of journalists and impunity related to crimes freedom of expression.

At an event on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, the Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate (IJS), together with UNESCO and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) focused on the expected announcement by the government of establishing the national mechanism.

An event hosted by the Iraqi Journalists’ addressed the multiple challenges facing the safety of the media profession in the country: journalists operate in extremely volatile environments facing various threats and killings.

“I welcome the upcoming establishment of a strengthened national mechanism for the prevention of and protection against threats and attacks on freedom of expression. This mechanism will enable more swift and effective investigations of crimes against journalists. It will also address impunity, by promoting systematic prosecution of perpetrators of such crimes. And it will allow a closer collaboration between governmental entities, the media profession and the civil society on the crucial issue of safety of journalists,” said Louise Haxthausen, Director of the UNESCO Office for Iraq.

Moaed Al-Lami, the Head of IJS stressed that “the Iraqi journalists deserve more protection and safety, this is our mandate and we hope that, with the Iraqi government, we can improve the rights of journalists, and ultimately, foster an environment that enables the media profession to operate without fear”

UNESCO also participated in another event in Baghdad on the occasion of World Press Freedom, organized by the National Union of Journalists-Iraq and the US Embassy in Baghdad and hosted at The Station. At the event, discussions on the role of journalists during the war against Dae’sh and in reconciliation efforts were debated. Louise Haxthausen facilitated a panel discussion on the role of journalists in building peace after conflict.

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