Director-General condemns devastating bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan

01 June 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the bomb attack in the Afghan capital on 31 May that claimed numerous lives, including those of at least two media workers: Aziz Navin and Mohammed Nazir.

“I condemn the terror attack in Kabul that killed a shocking number of people, including media workers Aziz Navin and Mohammed Nazir,” said the Director-General. “The targeting of civilians in a neighborhood that is home to many media operations as well as diplomatic missions is a clear attempt to undermine the principles we stand for, notably dialogue among and within countries, peaceful international relations, and the free flow of information.

“I extend my condolences to the victims of this attack and to their loved ones, while affirming UNESCO’s resolve to stand by the people of Afghanistan and their media,” concluded Ms Bokova.

A bomb attack in the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul claimed dozens of civilian lives, including those of Aziz Navin, a staff member of Tolonews, and Mohammed Nazir, a driver for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray@unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”