BAGHDAD, Asharq Al-Awsat- Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG) Ashraf Qazi has stated that Iraq has become a place too dangerous for reporters.
On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, this Wednesday May 3, he expressed his unwavering support for Iraqi journalists who risk their lives to fulfill their duty.
A press statement from his Baghdad office said, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 70 reporters have been killed on duty since March 2003, others have been injured, detained, or threatened while doing their job.
Qazi said, “Some of them we had the privilege to know in person.” He called on the new Iraqi government to commit itself to protecting journalists and their right to pursue their jobs without being threatened or pressured.
He added, free press is a requisite for a healthy democracy. Access to information and freedom of media empower societies, making them more tolerant and understanding.
“Let us, on this occasion,” Qazi added, “take a pledge to respect the work of the Iraqi media (personnel) so that they can spread greater respect for these universal values.”