17.03.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Director-General voices grave concern for human life and human rights in Libya

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called on the authorities in Libya to respect human life, and human rights, notably the rights of children to education in a safe environment.

Irina Bokova also reiterated her call for the Libyan authorities to respect the right to freedom of expression and ensure that journalists could carry out their duties freely without fear of intimidation or attack.

"As the head of the United Nations Organization in charge of education and communication, I am particularly concerned by reports of violations against the basic right of children to receive an education, in a safe environment," Irina Bokova said.

"Schools are sacrosanct. It is inadmissible that children be deprived of their education, or that teachers and pupils be subject to intimidation by any party as a result of the social upheavals occurring in Libya at the moment."

"I am equally appalled by the recurrent reports of violence against the media, clearly aimed at preventing journalists from doing their job. It is essential that the Libyan authorities do all they can to secure the freedom of journalists that have gone missing in the country."

The Director-General's statement comes amidst reports of intensified fighting in Libya and of the disappearance of a number of journalists in the country.




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