The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), Audrey Azoulay, recalled the duty to guarantee the safety of journalists covering demonstrations.
“Freedom of expression is a vital component of democracy. Reporters’ information on events is essential for press freedom and the right to information,” Azoulay said in the statement released amid the increase in cases of violence against journalists during demonstrations.
According to the note, recent waves of protests around the world highlighted the problem posed by cases of excessive use of force by law enforcement officers against journalists.
“Journalists have been killed or injured by attacks with rubber bullets, others, while covering live demonstrations, have been arrested or accused of not having dispersed, and material has been confiscated or destroyed,” the text states.
However, the agency stressed the importance of understanding the demands of protesters and the response of the authorities and law enforcement officers to the work of reporters.
In this context, Unesco regularly conducts training courses for professionals who deal with journalists “to help them understand and respect the vital contribution of the media to democracy and the fundamental human right to freedom of expression.”