Director-General calls for investigation into the killing of journalist Pow James Raeth in South Sudan

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of radio journalist Pow James Raeth in South Sudan and called for an investigation into this crime.

“I condemn the killing of Pow James Raeth,” the Director-General said. “Attacks on journalists are not just crimes against individuals, they weaken freedom of expression, press freedom, and the exercise of democracy. I urge the authorities to spare no effort in shedding light on this crime.”

Pow James Raeth was shot on 20 May in the South Sudanese city of Akobo, near the border with Ethiopia. He had been working for Radio Tamazuj at the time of his death.

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

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”