UNESCO chief denounces killing of journalists in eastern Ukraine

19 June 2014

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing earlier this week of two journalists covering the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Television journalist Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin, working for the Russian public broadcaster VGTRK, were reporting on fighting near the city of Lugansk when they were hit by mortar fire.

The Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, urged all parties to respect the civilian status of journalists.

“The work of journalists, especially in situations of tension, is essential to nourish the informed public debate necessary for promoting renewed dialogue and mutual understanding,” she stated in a news release.

“I call on all parties to respect the civilian status of journalists and let them carry out their important professional activities in safe conditions in keeping with the Geneva Convention and its Protocols.”

The two deaths bring to five the number journalists who have been killed in Ukraine since January this year, according to the Paris-based UNESCO.

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