Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO today denounced the bomb attack in the capital of Somalia that killed hundreds of people, including freelance journalist Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed.
“I condemn this horrendous attack and the death of Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed,” said the Director-General. “There can be no justification for the slaughter of civilians and it is essential that violence should not be allowed to curtail freedom of expression and the media’s ability to do their work.”
Freelance video journalist Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed was reportedly on duty when a car bomb exploded at a busy intersection in Mogadishu on 14 October killing some 270 people. Among the hundreds of injured were at least four other journalists, Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulle , who worked for the Voice of America, Mohamed Omar Bakay of Goobjoog Radio, Abdullahi Osman of Mandeeq Radio, and two freelancers, Abdiqani Ali Adan and Ahmed Abdi Hadi.
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…”