The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced an air attack in Gaza City that killed Hamid Shihab, a driver for the Media 24 news agency on 9 July.
“I condemn the killing of Hamid Shihab,” the Director-General said. “I urge all parties to respect the civilian status of journalists and media workers, in keeping with the Geneva Conventions and their Protocols. Society needs to be kept informed in times of conflict as much as in times of peace, and armed forces have a duty to respect media workers’ right to carry out their professional duties even in the midst of hostilities.”
A rocket killed Hamid Shihab while he was in a car marked as a press vehicle.
The Director-General’s statements on the killing of media professionals are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12
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…”