UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today denounced the deaths of reporter Ahmed Abdel Gawad and photographer Mosab Al-Shami in Cairo in August 14, and journalist Tamer Abdel Raouf, at Damanhur in the north of Egypt on 19 August. The Director-General called for a thorough investigation to determine the exact circumstances of the three killings.
“I deplore the deaths of Ahmed Abdel Gawad, Mosab Al-Shami and Tamer Abdel Raouf,” Irina Bokova said. She expressed her distress and concern over the violence directed against the media in Egypt, where five media professionals were killed while carrying out their duties in the space of a few days. “This is an issue of freedom of expression and information,” Ms. Bokova said. “ I call on the Egyptian authorities to do everything possible to ensure the security of media workers.”
According to Reporters Without Borders, Ahmed Abdel Gawad, who worked for the Egyptian daily Al-Akhbar, and Mosab Al-Shami, a photojournalist for Rassd News Network (RNN), were killed while covering demonstrations in the capital. Both died from gunshot injuries.
Reporters Without Borders reports that Tamer Abdel Raouf, regional director of Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper, was shot dead at a vehicle checkpoint in Damanhur, in the Beheira Governorate in northern Egypt, on the night of 19 August. Another journalist in the car, Hamed Al-Barbari, from the daily Al-Gomhuria, was injured.
These three deaths bring to six the number of journalists killed in Egypt this year. They are remembered on the dedicated webpage UNESCO remembers assassinated 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…”