Building peace in the minds of men and women

Director-General condemns killing of Syrian journalist Yara Abbas

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of journalist Yara Abbas in Syria and called on all the belligerents to respect the rights of media workers to report events in the country.

“I condemn the killing of Yara Abbas,” the Director-General said. “Once again, I call on all parties in the Syrian conflict to respect the civilian status of journalists. The right of reporters to carry out their professional duties must be respected in times of war as in times of peace.”

Yara Abbas, a reporter for the State-run Al-Ikhbariya television channel, was killed on 27 May while reporting on fighting in Homs province.

The Director-General has condemned the killing of six journalists, three of them women, in Syria this year. They are all remembered in the dedicated webpage website UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists.


Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at),  +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