The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has condemned the attack that killed broadcast journalist Souhaib al-Hiti and at least 16 other people on 30 May in the city of Heet in Iraq’s Anbar province.
Al-Hiti was a freelancer for the TV network Asiasat. He was covering a candlelit vigil for the victims of a car bomb attack that exploded in Baghdad on 29 May when he was killed by a suicide bomber.
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…”