The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, today deplored the killing of three Syrian journalists, who were killed while reporting on fighting in the southern Syrian province of Deraa last week.
“I condemn the killing of Youssef Mahmoud El-Dous, Rami Adel Al-Asmi and Salem Abdul-Rahman Khalil,” the Director-General said. “I call on all parties in the tragic conflict in Syria to respect the civilian status of journalists in keeping with the Geneva Conventions."
The three media professionals worked for Orient TV, a Syrian station based in Dubai. They were killed when a guided missile hit their vehicle near the village of Sheikh Miskeen.
As part of its mandate, UNESCO defends freedom of expression and press freedom. The organization’s Constitution requires it 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.”
The Director-General 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.”