Director-General condemns the murder of Syrian citizen journalists Ibrahim Abdel Qader and Fares Hammadi

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of two citizen journalists, Ibrahim Abdel Qader and Fares Hammadi, found dead in the city of Sanlıurfa, in the southeast of Turkey, on 30 October.

“I condemn the killings of Ibrahim Abdel Qader and Fares Hammadi,” the Director-General said. “I call on the authorities to ensure swift justice for these crimes. We must do everything we can to protect journalists from the violence of extremists who are prepared to resort to murder to suppress people’s right to share information.”

Ibrahim Abdel Qader (20) was co-founder and Executive Director of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, an online news portal by citizen journalists and human rights activists reporting on the city of Raqqa, Syria, which is controlled by violent extremists.

Fares Hammadi was Head of Production at Eye on the Homeland, a Syrian media collective.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers 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), +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…”