The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today urged respect for professional and citizen journalists after three media workers from a Lebanese television station were killed while reporting on clashes south of Damascus in Syria.
“I condemn the killing of Hamza Al-Hajj Hassan, Mohamed Muntich and Halim Alouh,” the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, said in news release.
“There can be no justification for the targeting of media workers, the eyes and ears of civil society, whose work is essential in any attempt to overcome conflict and heal its wounds,” she urged.
The crew, which included a reporter, cameraman and technician, was covering clashes in the town of Al-Maaloula for Lebanon’s Al-Manar television on 14 April.
These deaths bring to five the number of killings in Syria condemned by the Director-General since January 2014. Their names will be included this year on UNESCO’s dedicated webpage for journalists killed in the line of duty.