UNESCO Director-General deplores death of French photographer Lucas Mebrouk Dolega
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today deplored the death of French photographer Lucas Mebrouk Dolega, who died on 17 January from injuries sustained while covering demonstrations in Tunisia.
“The death of Lucas Mebrouk Dolega is a tragic reminder of the difficult and dangerous situations in which media professionals must often work. His death also reminds us of how important that work is,” said the Director-General.
“Journalists stand as witnesses to the events and actions that shape our lives and societies. Their work contributes to the development of transparent and accountable decision-making, which is one of the conditions demanded by today’s citizens. National authorities everywhere have a responsibility to ensure that the media can do its job in the most secure conditions possible. I would urge that every possible effort be made to shed full light on the circumstances of Lucas Mebrouk Dolega’s death.”
Lucas Mebrouk Dolega, 32, was a photographer with the European Press Agency (EPA). According to the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) and Reporters Without Borders, he died on 17 January from injuries sustained after being hit by a tear gas canister while covering demonstrations in Tunis on 14 January.
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…”