The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has called for better measures to protect media workers following the death of TV anchor Shifa Zikri Ibrahim in western Mosul on 25 February.
“I condemn the killing of Shifa Zikri Ibrahim,” said the Director-General. “Ms Zikri Ibrahim’s courage and commitment to bringing news and information to the public should not have cost her life. I call on both media organizations and the authorities to spare no effort in ensuring that reporters covering conflict situations benefit from security training and all other measures possible to ensure their safety.”
Shifa Zikri Ibrahim, professionally known as Shifa Gardi, was killed by a roadside bomb while covering the military offensive on Mosul for television broadcaster Rudaw, a Kurdish media network.
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…”