06.04.2012 - UNESCOPRESS

Director-General calls for investigation into killing of citizen journalist Ahmed Ismael Hassan AlSamadi in Bahrain

The Director-General of UNESCO today denounced the killing of Ahmed Ismael Hassan AlSamadi, a citizen journalist, who was shot while filming a demonstration in the village of Salmabad, southwest of the capital of Bahrain, Manama.

“I condemn the shooting of Ahmed Ismael Hassan AlSamadi,” the Director-General said. “The basic human right of freedom of expression and the freedom of journalists and citizen journalists to cover events are essential for any society that wants to uphold the principles of democracy and rule of law. I welcome reports that the authorities’ intend to launch an inquiry into this serious event and trust that the culprits will be brought to justice.”

Ahmed Ismael Hassan AlSamadi, 22, was shot on 31 March while filming the security forces’ crackdown on a demonstration, according to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and Reporters Without Borders. AlSamadi was a citizen journalist and photographer who regularly filmed demonstrations.

The Interior Ministry confirmed his death in hospital a few hours after his arrival. The authorities have announced they were opening an inquiry into the killing.

AlSamadi is the third journalist in Bahrain to be featured on the dedicated page UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists since the start of demonstrations in the kingdom in February 2011.

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, +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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