UNESCO condemns the killing of Professor Ahmed Shaker in Baghdad

UNESCO Office for Iraq, July 3, 2013

Baghdad; Director of UNESCO Office in Iraq Ms. Louise Haxthausen condemned the killing of Dr. Ahmed Shaker, professor at the University of Baghdad and urged the authorities to investigate this crime.

“UNESCO condemns this terrible act and offers its deep condolences to Dr. Shaker’s family and friends, as well as his colleagues and students at the University of Baghdad”, said Ms. Haxthausen. “A clear message must be sent to the perpetrators that their acts will not go unpunished. Such crimes affect the Iraqi society at whole, as they erode the human capital of the country. Teachers and professors define the shape of our future. They are the true advocates of durable peace and sustainable development in Iraq”, added Ms. Haxthausen.

According to security reports, Dr. Ahmed Shakir, specialist in cardio-vascular diseases and professor at the Faculty of medicine in the University of Baghdad, was killed when a bomb planted in his car exploded in Zaafaraniyya, south of Baghdad, on Monday 1 July 2013.

Acts of violence committed against academics and scientists in Iraq remain a main cause of brain drain. Many qualified academics flee to other countries in search of security. In partnership with the Iraqi government and UN sister Organizations, UNESCO is responding to these challenges through projects that focus on supporting Iraq in restoring its human capital, and improving the country’s learning environment.