UNESCO is concerned to "use excessive force" against journalists

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on Monday expressed her "concern about the escalation of violence against journalists" who are covering the demonstrations, reminding that "freedom of expression is an essential component of democracy."

A statement issued by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, among its tasks guaranteeing freedom of expression, stated that "direct coverage of events is at the heart of journalistic work." "This work is essential to guarantee freedom of the press and the right to information," she added.

"In recent years, demonstrations across the world have demonstrated the dangers of excessive use of force by security forces against journalists: journalists have been killed or injured by rubber bullets, while others who report directly on the demonstrations have been arrested or accused of failing to obey orders to disperse and their equipment has been confiscated or destroyed," the statement added.

In early June, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, condemned the "unprecedented assault" of journalists in the United States, which witnessed a massive protest movement against racism and police force violence.

UNESCO stated that since 2013 it has trained more than 3,400 members of the security forces in 17 countries, and about 17,000 judges in Latin America and Africa as part of online courses on freedom of expression to explain to them this "fundamental right" and the main media role in democracy.

She hoped that "these courses will be distributed to all countries."

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