The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the killing of Qays al-Qadi in Eastern Ghouta, near the Syrian capital Damascus, on 29 October.
“I condemn the killing of Qays Al-Qadi,” the Director-General said. “I remind all parties of their obligation to ensure the safety of journalists in conflict situations, in keeping with the Geneva Conventions.”
Qays al-Qadi was the bureau chief of the al Al-Jisr, a television channel based in Turkey. He was killed during an attack on Eastern Ghouta.
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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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…”