Unesco calls for probe of Palestinian newsman’s death in detention

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Paris, July 24 (IANS/AKI) United Nations culture organisation Unesco’s head on Tuesday urged an investigation the death of Niraz Saeed, a Palestinian photojournalist whose death after years of detention in Syria was announced last week by his widow.

“I wish to express my condolences to the family of Niraz Saeed.

“I urge the authorities to conduct a transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Niraz Saeed, his long detention, and death in custody,” said Audrey Azoulay, stressing that “freedom of speech is a fundamental right, essential for any society”.

Saeed’s widow announced her husband’s death on July 16, but information about the date or cause of his demise were not available.

At least two news reports from the region cited an unnamed source as saying Saeed died after being tortured in custody, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists reported.

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Saeed who documented life in the sprawling Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus had been in detention since October 2015.

In 2014, aged 23, he had won a photo contest organized by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA, and the European Union.

–IANS/AKI

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