14.08.2014 - UNESCOPRESS

Director-General deplores death of journalist Simone Camilli and his translator Ali Shehda Abu Afash in Gaza

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today voiced deep concern over the death of Italian journalist Simone Camilli and Ali Shehda Abu Afash, his Palestinian translator, in an explosion in the town of Beit Lahiya in Gaza.

“I deplore the death of Simone Camilli and Ali Shehda Abu Afash, lifting the death toll of media workers from the current confict," the Director-General said. “The loss of individuals who brave danger to ensure that the world is kept informed of events in conflict zones affects to us all."

Associated Press (AP) journalist Simone Camilli, 35, and Ali Shehada Abu Afash were killed, along with three members of the Palestinian bomb squad, who were trying to dismantle an unexploded missile on Wednesday morning.

Eight media workers have died in Gaza since the start of the conflict in July. The Director-General issues statements about these cases in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” They are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.


Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, +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…”


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