25.03.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

UNESCO Director-General condemns killing of Libyan journalist Mohammed al-Nabbous and calls for freeing of detained media workers

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of Libyan journalist Mohammed al-Nabbous on 19 March and called for all journalists detained in the country to be freed.

 "I condemn the killing of Mohammed al-Nabbous, who was killed while fulfilling his professional duty of informing citizens about the dramatic events taking place in Libya," the Director-General said. "His tragic death, along with numerous reports of journalists being detained in the country, indicates just how dangerous Libya has become for media workers.

"In keeping with the Geneva Conventions to which Libya is a State Party, it is essential that all those in positions of power in the country respect the right of journalists to do their work unhindered."

Mohammed al-Nabbous, the 28-year-old founder of online channel Libya Al-Hurra, or Free Libya, was killed by snipers in Benghazi. The International Press Institute reports that he was shot during an attack on the city by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

Mohammed al-Nabbous is the second journalist to be killed in Libya within the past two weeks. The first fatality was Ali Hassan al-Jaber, a cameraman with Al Jazeera, who was killed in an apparent ambush last week.

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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