Director-General deplores killing of Yemeni journalist Jamal Ahmed al-Sharabi in Sanaa protests
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the death of Jamal Ahmed al-Sharabi, a Yemeni journalist who was shot in the capital of Yemen, Sanaa on March 18.
"The killing of Jamal Ahmed al-Sharabi is an attack against the basic human right of the people of Yemen to freedom of expression," the Director-General said. "It is the duty of the authorities to ensure that journalists are able to carry out their professional duties in the safest possible conditions. It is also their duty to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of this death - which occurred during a confrontation that also tragically cost many other lives - and bring the perpetrators to justice."
Jamal Ahmed al-Sharabi was shot when gunmen opened fire on protestors in Change Square in Sanaa. A number of others were also killed and dozens injured in the crackdown against the demonstrators. According to the International Press Institute (IPI), the journalist had been covering the demonstration for the Al-Masdar independent newspaper.
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."