The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today voiced deep concern over the killing of editor Meftah Bouzid in Libya on 26 May.
“I condemn the murder of Meftah Bouzid,” the Director-General said. “Guns must not be allowed to silence diversity of opinion, nor will they ever replace words in securing the support of civil society.
“UNESCO is particularly affected by this loss,” Ms Bokova added, “as colleagues remember Meftah Bouzid’s enthusiastic participation last year in professional journalism workshops we organized along with the United Nations Election Support Team in Libya.”
Meftah Bouzid, editor of the weekly newspaper Burniq, was an outspoken critic of Islamic extremists and is reported to have received threats to his life because of the opinions he expressed. He was shot dead in the centre of Benghazi.
This killing brings to four the number of cases in Libya condemned by the Director-General since January 2013. They are to be found on the dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.
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…”