Director-General denounces killing of three Syrian media professionals

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the killing of Youssef Mahmoud El-Dous, Rami Adel Al-Asmi and Abdul-Rahman Khalil, who were reporting on fighting in the southern Syrian province of Deraa on 8 December.

“I condemn the killing of Youssef Mahmoud El-Dous,Rami Adel Al-Asmi and Salem Abdul-Rahman Khalil,” the Director-General said. “I call on all parties in the tragic conflict in Syria to respect the civilian status of journalists in keeping with the Geneva Conventions."

The three media professionals worked for Orient TV, a Syrian station based in Dubai. They were killed when a guided missile hit their vehicle near the village of Sheikh Miskeen.

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(at)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…”