The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of freelance Iraqi cameraman Yasser Faysal Al-Joumaili, who was reportedly abducted and killed by members of a radical group in northern Syria earlier this month.
“I condemn the killing of Yasser Faysal Al-Joumaili,” the Director-General said. “Too many professional and citizen journalists are losing their lives in the conflict in Syria, often deliberately targeted by the various factions involved. The circumstances of freelance journalists are a cause of particular concern, as they are often less well trained to deal with the dangers they face than are staff reporters.”
Joumaili, 35, had been in northern Syria working for foreign media outlets for about ten days when he was kidnapped on 04 December and then killed.An experienced cameraman who had often worked for Al-Jazeera International and Reuters, Joumaili was from the Iraqi city of Fallujah.This year, the Director-General condemned the killing of seven journalists in Syria. Ms Bokova’s statements can be found in the dedicated page, UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists.
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…”