The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has denounced the killing of journalists Alaa Kraym, known as Mohammed Al Qabouni and Mohamed Abazied, also known as George Samara, in Syria.
“I condemn the deaths of journalists Alaa Kraym and Mohamed Abazied,” said the Director-General. “I call on all parties to the conflict in Syria to protect the safety of journalists and respect their civilian status, in keeping with the Geneva Conventions.”
Alaa Kraym, alias Mohammed Al Qabouni, was killed on 4 May while covering fighting in Qaboun, a suburb east of Damascus. He had been working for the Qaboun Media Center, the Syrian Media Observatory and the Syrian Revolutionary Forces’ media office.
A reporter for satellite television Nabd Syria and Syria Media Organization (SMO), Mohamed Abazied, aka George Samara, died on 12 March while covering the war in the southwestern Syrian city of Daraa.
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…”