The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of journalists Igor Kornelyuk, and Anton Voloshin in Ukraine and urged all parties to respect the civilian status of journalists.
“I am deeply shocked by the death of journalists Igor Kornelyuk, and Anton Voloshin,” the Director-General said. “The work of journalists, especially in situations of tension, is essential to nourish the informed public debate necessary for promoting renewed dialogue and mutual understanding. I call on all parties to respect the civilian status of journalists and let them carry out their important professional activities in safe conditions in keeping with the Geneva Convention and its Protocols.”
Working for the Russian public broadcaster VGTRK, television journalist Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin were both reporting on fighting near the city of Lugansk when they were hit by mortar fire.
The killing of Kornelyuk and Voloshin brings to five the number journalists who have been killed in Ukraine since January this year. Their deaths have been condemned by the Director-General. Her statements on the killing of media workers 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…”