UNESCO denounces murder of American

UNESCO Director-General denounces murder of American reporter James Foley in Syria and calls for release of all other journalists held captive there


UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today condemned the murder of American journalist James Foley. Mr Foley was kidnapped in Syria in November 2012. A video of his execution was posted on the internet.

“I condemn the murder of James Foley in the strongest possible terms,” the Director-General said. “There are few words to describe this heinous killing, turned into a cruel and gruesome spectacle through a video recording that has been widely circulated to intimidate media, governments and citizens everywhere and to inflict terrible pain on Mr Foley’s family, friends and colleagues.

James Foley, and other courageous journalists like him, have kept the world informed about the conflict in Syria and the terrible price being paid by the Syrian people and their country. Accurate reporting is a vital function in any society – and even more critical in times of war, where citizens have a right to know what is going on, and to be able to express themselves.

“Several other journalists are still being held captive in Syria, including Steven Sotloff who was being held with Mr Foley, and whose life has been threatened. I call on all concerned to release all reporters unharmed.”

James Foley, 40, worked for the GlobalPost, a Boston-based online publication, as well as Agence France Presse, the French news agency and several other media. He vanished on 22 November 2012, while reporting on fighting in the city of Aleppo. An experienced journalist, he spent considerable time covering conflicts in the Middle East, having been briefly detained once before, while reporting in Libya

The Director-General issues statements about the assassination of journalists in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” They are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

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