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UNESCO director condemns killing of Egypt journalists

UNESCO [official website] Director-General Irina Bokova [official profile] on Monday condemned [press release] the death of three journalists in Egypt and called for a thorough investigation into the incidents. Two journalists, Ahmed Abdel of Al-Akhbar [news service] and Gawad Mosab Al-Shami, a photojournalist for Rassd News Network (RNN) [news service, in Arabic], were killed during demonstrations in Cairo on August 14. On August 20 Tamer Abdel Raouf, regional bureau chief for the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram [news service, in Arabic] was killed [RSF report] at an army checkpoint in Damanhur, a city in lower Egypt. "This is an issue of freedom of expression and information," Bokova said, calling on Egyptian authorities, " to do everything possible to ensure the security of media workers."

While Egypt has faced political unrest since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] began in 2011, the country has been particularly volatile since the military deposed president Mohammed Morsi on July 3 and suspended the constitution. Earlier this month a group of independent UN rights experts urged all parties involved in the Egyptian civil unrest to end the recent violence. The Coordination Committee [official website], composed of six experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council [official website] to oversee human rights concerns, violations and procedures, expressed their concern [press release] regarding the escalating violence in the streets of Cairo, placing the death toll at 600 [press release] following continued clashes in August.

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