The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of Syrian journalist Musab Mohamed Said Al-Oudaallah and asked that the civilian status of media workers be respected in times of conflict.
“I am appalled by the killing of Musab Mohamed Said Al-Oudaallah,” the Director-General said. “Once again, I call on all those fighting in Syria to respect the civilian status of reporters and the basic human right of freedom of expression.”
Musab Mohamed Said Al-Oudaallah is reported to have been killed in his home in Damascus on 22 August. Al-Oudaallah was a journalist for the arts and culture section of the government newspaper Tishreen. According to Reporters Without Borders he also published articles critical of the government under a pseudonym.
At least 28 local and international journalists have been killed in Syria since the start of 2012. Their names can be found on UNESCO’s dedicated webpage.
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…”