Paris 2 November—The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, denounced the murder of Iraqi television journalist Yahya al-Khatib, who was killed by violent extremists on 16 August.
“I condemn the killing of Yahya al-Khatib,” said the Director-General. “Such barbaric acts cannot be tolerated. The public has a right to be kept informed and journalists and media workers must be allowed to do their job without fearing for their lives.”
Yahya al-Khatib was killed by violent extremists in Mosul, where he worked for two satellite television channels, Al-Mosuliyah and Nineveh Al-Ghad.
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.
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…”