Director-General calls for investigation into the killing of journalist Rasim Aliyev in Baku

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of Azerbaijani journalist Rasim Aliyev, who died in Baku on 9 August.

“I condemn the attack on Rasim Aliyev,” said the Director-General. “The authorities must ensure that those responsible for the death of Mr Aliyev are brought to justice. This is essential to protect the rule of law and press freedom. Impunity for crimes against journalists cannot be allowed to take root,” concluded Ms Bokova.

Thirty-year-old Rasim Aliyev, a freelance contributor to several independent news websites, died in hospital from injuries received when he was beaten by several assailants the day before. Aliyev, who chaired the Baku-based Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety is reported to have requested police protection following threats to his life.

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…”