Journalists need to be able to do their work in safety. If they become victims of violence while doing their job, then the perpetrators need to be held accountable in order to deter future violence. These are the principles behind the programme “Breaking the Silence”, implemented in Iraq by UNESCO and Free Press Unlimited.
Between 1-4 September, a training took place for police officers in the Special Investigative Unit on Crimes Against Journalists. During the training, a central theme was the increased number of threats and attacks against journalists in Iraq. Using old case studies, the officers discussed the best ways to go about investigating such cases. The training also addressed basic principles of freedom of expression, and how to apply them during daily interactions. Police Officer Marawa Ahmed said: “This course has enhanced my knowledge and taught me practical, effective ways to handle such issues arising in field locations”. 58 police officers, of which 12 female officers, participated in the training.
The programme “Breaking the Silence”, of which this training is a part, is funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Iraq and implemented with Free Press Unlimited.