UNESCO chief denounces killing of journalists in Somalia and Afghanistan

8 June 2016

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the killings of a broadcast journalist in Somalia and a photojournalist and his interpreter in Afghanistan, who all lost their lives last Sunday.

“I condemn the murder of Sagal Salad Osman,” Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said in a press release.

Sagal Osman, a broadcaster for state-run Somali National Television and Radio Mogadishu, was shot in the west of the Somali capital.

“Violence is never acceptable. It is particularly tragic when used to silence a young woman blazing a trail for all others by exercising an essential profession in a difficult environment,” Ms. Bokova lamented.

The Director-General also denounced an attack in Afghanistan that claimed the lives of photojournalist David Gilkey and his interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna.

“The right of media workers to exercise their professional duties in safe conditions must be recognized in the interest of society as a whole,” she stressed in a separate press release.

Award-winning photojournalist David Gilkey and interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna were killed near the town of Marjah in southwestern Afghanistan. Both were on assignment for National Public Radio (NPR), the United States’ public broadcasting network.

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.”


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