The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the death of two journalists in Syria, Abdul Qader and Ali Mostafa, and recalled the importance of access to information for conflict resolution.
“I am deeply concerned by the death of Abdul Qader and Ali Mostafa, two media professionals whose names are to be added to the all too long list of civilian victims in Syria. It is essential that journalists be able to report on difficult situations and I urge all parties to help media workers do their work as well as possible, even in the extreme conditions they face in Syria.”
Omar Abdul Qader, 27, a cameraman for the Beirut-based TV station Al-Mayadeen, was shot dead on 8 March, while covering clashes in the eastern province of Deir Al-Zour.
One day later, Canadian freelance journalist Ali Moustafa, 29, was among eight people killed in two consecutive bomb blasts in Aleppo.
These two cases bring to five the number of media workers whose killing in Syria has been condemned by the Director-General over the past year.
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…”