Director-General deplores killing of journalist Leyla Yildizhin in northern Iraq
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of journalist Leyla Yildizh, also known as Deniz Firat, in Iraq.
“I deplore the killing of Leyla Yildizh,” the Director-General said. “It is essential that all parties involved in the conflict in the region respect the civilian status of journalists and their right to carry out their professional duties in safe conditions."
“It is also important,” the Director-General added, “that media organizations ensure that the personnel they employ in conflict zones benefit from optimal training and support promoted by professional organizations—and this is a goal that UNESCO is supporting.”
In this respect, UNESCO has published with Reporters without Borders a regularly updated Handbook for Journalists working in dangerous areas. It features guidelines to reduce the risks incurred by media workers in the field.
Leyla Yildizh, a photographer and television journalist for the Firat News Agency died in an attack on 8 August while reporting from the Maxmur refugee camp north of Mosul, in Iraq.
The Director-General’s issues statements on the killing of media professionals in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12
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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