The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, today urged all parties in the conflict in the north of Syria to protect the lives of media workers covering hostilities, following the death of Syrian journalists Mohammed Hussein Rasho and Saad Ahmed on 13 October.
“I condemn the killing of journalists Saad Ahmed and Mohammed Hussein Rasho, who died as a result of the airstrike of 13 October, which claimed many civilian lives,” said the Director-General. “I must remind all parties to the conflict of their obligation to protect civilians, in line with the Geneva Conventions, and ensure the safety of journalists whose valuable service to society cannot be overstated, especially in times of war when people rely on the media for potentially life-saving information.”
Ahmed, a Syrian Kurd working for local news agency Hawar News (ANHA), and Rasho, also a Syrian Kurd, who was a reporter for the Sweden-based Kurdish TV station Çira TV, died following an airstrike in northern Syria. The journalists were travelling in a convoy between the cities of Qamishli and Ras-al-Ain when it was hit by an airstrike that killed at least six civilians. At least four other local journalists were among the civilians injured in the attack.
UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and a range of actions, notably in the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
See also: UNESCO observatory of killed journalists
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