Director-General deplores the killing of Palestinian journalist Abdullah Murtaja
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of Palestinian journalist Abdullah Murtaja, who died on 25 August.
“I condemn the killing of Abdullah Murtaja,” the Director-General said. “Journalists must be able to carry out their work in safe conditions and their civilian status needs to be respected at all times. Society needs to be kept informed of events, never more so than when living in the shadow of conflict.”
Abdullah Murtaja, who reported for the Aqsa satellite channel, was reportedly hit during the shelling of the al-Shujaiyya neighbourhood of Gaza city.
The Director-General’s statements on the killing of media professionals are issued 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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