Director-General deplores death of French news photographer Olivier Voisin from injuries sustained in Syrian conflict

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has expressed deep sadness at the death of Olivier Voisin, a French press photographer who died on 24 February from shrapnel wounds he received in Syria three days earlier.

“I am distressed at news of the death of Olivier Voisin, yet another journalist killed in Syria. The media have been paying an intolerably high price for their right and duty to keep us informed of events and I call on all those involved in the Syrian conflict to improve the safety of journalists covering the conflict.”

Olivier Voisin, 38, died in a hospital in the city of Antakya in Turkey where he had been treated for injuries sustained in the Syrian province of Idlib on 21 February. Voisin had contributed pictures to several news media including Agence France Presse, Le Monde and The Guardian.

Since the start of the fighting in Syria in 2011, the Director-General has condemned the killing of 47 citizen and professional journalists, including Voisin. They are remembered in the dedicated UNESCO page, 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 promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”