Director-General deplores death of TV presenter Mohammed Rajah Shamsan and three colleagues in Sanaa

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the deaths of Yemen Today presenter Mohammed Rajah Shamsan and three other employees of the satellite television broadcaster in an explosion that followed an air strike in the capital of Yemen.

“In the present conflict in Yemen, the deaths of journalist Mohammed Rajah Shamsan, and his fellow Yemen Today employees Monir Aklan, Hazzam Mohamed Zeid and Amin Yehia, is a loss for society as a whole, as civilians depend on the media to provide them with information that is vital for their safety. I call on all parties to respect fully the civilian status of media workers, in keeping with the Geneva Conventions.”

Journalist and presenter Mohammed Rajah Shamsan died in an explosion at the television channel in Sanaa on 20 April, along with three other staff members working for the station, Monir Aklan, Hazzam Mohamed Zeid, and Amin Yehia.

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…”