Director-General deplores NATO strike on Libyan state television facilities
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today qualified NATO’s attack on Libyan State broadcasting facilities on 30 July as unacceptable, deploring the death of three media workers in the air strike which also left 21 people injured.
“I deplore the NATO strike on Al-Jamahiriya and its installations,” the Director-General said. “Media outlets should not be targeted in military actions. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1738 (2006) condemns acts of violence against journalists and media personnel in conflict situations.
“The NATO strike is also contrary to the principles of the Geneva Conventions that establish the civilian status of journalists in times of war even when they engage in propaganda,” Irina Bokova added. “Silencing the media is never a solution. Fostering independent and pluralistic media is the only way to enable people to form their own opinion,” Irina Bokova concluded.
NATO for its part issued a statement claiming that the strike was conducted in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which authorizes the military action in Libya.
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…”