“I deplore the death of Omar Rasim al-Qaysi,” said Ms Bokova. “As bombings and attacks continue in and other areas of conflict or social unrest, journalists are paying an unacceptably high toll for defending the basic right of freedom of expression. I call on the government of Iraq, and on the governments of all countries where similar campaigns of violence are being waged, to do their utmost to improve security conditions. Only then will journalists be able to carry out their important work in relative safety.”
Omar Rasim al-Qaysi, an anchor working for the satellite television channel Al-Anbar TV, died when a car bomb exploded as he was walking to work in central Ramadi, al-Anbar province. His brother Mustafa al-Qaysi, a cameraman for the same channel, was injured in the attack, which killed at least 13 people and injured 40. The , an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group, claimed responsibility for the attack, according to news reports.
Ms Bokova’s statement follows the publication last week of year-end analysis by the (CPJ) of work-related fatalities among journalists. At least 42 journalists were killed in 2010. and violent street protests caused an unusually high proportion of deaths. The countries ranked the highest for journalism-related killings are Pakistan (8), Iraq (4), Honduras (3) and Mexico (3).
“While the number of journalists killed in 2010 represents a decline from previous years, it nonetheless remains unacceptably high and underlines the violence that journalists confront on a daily basis,” concluded Ms Bokova.