UNESCO DG voices grave concern over killing of 2 Syrian journalists

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United Nations  –  Ms Irina Bokova, the Director-General, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on Monday condemned the killing of two Syrian journalists, found dead a little over a week ago in the city of Sanliurfa in the southeast of Turkey.

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Bokova in a statement condemned the killings of Ibrahim Qader and Fares Hammadi.

She called on the authorities to ensure swift justice for these crimes.

She stated that “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.’’

The statement said that Qader, 20, was co-founder and Executive Director of Raqqa, an online news portal by citizen journalists and human rights activists reporting on the city of Raqqa, Syria, which is controlled by violent extremists.

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

NAN recalls that the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, observed every year on Nov. 2.

UNESCO said that since 2006, over 700 journalists have been killed in the line of duty.

No fewer than nine out of ten of these killed journalists, it added, have been local correspondents and reporters.

Furthermore, it stated that this year alone, there were over 70 cases of killed media personnel, up until September.

It added that from 2006-2014, print media has the most cases of killed journalists with 40 per cent of the victims, television comes second with 28 per cent while Radio represents 21 per cent of the victims.

The remaining statistics, it added are six per cent for Web-based journalists and five per cent for journalists active on multiple platforms.
The traditional media, it added, accounts for 89 per cent of all victims.
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It further added that the rate of voluntary response by UNESCO Member States to requests by the Director-General for information about judicial follow-up to killings has risen from a 30 per cent response rate in 2013 to 42 per cent in 2015. (NAN)


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