Rudaw Media Network strongly condemns UNESCO staff's mistreatment of journalist.


Rudaw Media Network is deeply disturbed and outraged by the appalling mistreatment of its female reporter, Payam Sarbast, and her cameraman by UNESCO staff during the visit of Audrey Azoulay, the UNESCO director general, to Mosul on March 7th, 2023, the eve of International Women's Day.

Our journalist was forcibly thrown out by security personnel simply for asking a question. Such an action is a flagrant violation of the fundamental right to freedom of the press and expression. As a news organization that operates in a region where press freedom and human rights are often under threat, we find it completely unacceptable that representatives of an organization committed to upholding these values would engage in such behavior.

Rudaw Media Network strongly demands that UNESCO issue a formal apology to our organization for the mistreatment of our reporter and provide a clear explanation for the actions taken against her. We also call on UNESCO to take immediate and decisive action to ensure that such incidents never happen again and to demonstrate its commitment to upholding the values of press freedom and human rights that it is supposed to stand for.

We firmly believe that international organizations such as UNESCO must lead by example and defend the rights of journalists to carry out their work free from intimidation or harassment. The mistreatment of our reporter by UNESCO staff is a clear violation of this principle, and we are determined to hold them accountable for their actions.


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