Director-General condemns killing of journalist Sayed Mehdi Hosaini alongside numerous civilians in Kabul terror attack

Paris, France

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, today condemned the terror attack on a Shiite cultural centre in Kabul on 28 December that claimed at least 40 lives, among them journalist Sayed Mehdi Hosaini, and left more than 80 civilians injured.

“I condemn the cynical attack that claimed the life of reporter Sayed Mehdi Hosaini alongside so many other civilians,” the Director-General said. “The targeting of civilians engaged in a group discussion provided a deadly demonstration of the extremists’ hostility to the fundamental human right of freedom of expression, a right which underpins all others. Freedom of expression and journalists’ essential role in upholding it must be protected from obscurantist terror that seeks to reduce individuals and communities to unquestioning obedience.”

The attack occurred during a panel discussion with journalists held to mark the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on the cultural centre, which also housed the Afghan Voice news agency. According to Afghan media, Sayed Mehdi Hosaini was a journalist for the Jomhor News Agency.

In the spirit of Article 1 of the Constitution of UNESCO, the Organization’s Director-General issues statements on violations of press freedoms, condemning the killing of media workers, in line with its action to take forward the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.


Media contact: Sylvie Coudray,, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12