The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today voiced deep concern over the death of media workers and the damage done to media facilities in the conflict in Gaza.
“I deplore the deaths of press photographer Rami Rayan, television journalist Sameh Al-Aryan, TV presenter Ahed Zaqout and newspaper journalist Mohamed Daher following the shelling in Gaza” the Director-General said. It is essential that all recognize the civilian status of journalists, who must be able to carry out their work keeping us informed of events on the ground. As stipulated by international agreements, journalists must be protected including when reporting from the scene,” Irina Bokova concluded.
Rami Rayan, a photographer for the Palestine Network for Press and Media news agency, and Al Aqsa TV cameraman Sameh al-Aryan, were killed in two successive rounds of shelling on a market in the Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza on 31 July. Ahed Zaqout, a presenter on Palestine TV, died one day earlier when the Gaza City building where he lived was shelled. Mohamed Daher, a journalist with the Al-Resalah newspaper, died on 31 July from injuries suffered when his home was hit in a raid eleven days earlier.
Her statements on the killing of media professionals are in line with Resolution 29, adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference in 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” The Director-General’s statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.