Paris, 15 February—The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the killing of media worker Taimur Abbas in Karachi, Pakistan, and called for justice and improved safety for journalists.
“I condemn the killing of Taimur Abbas,” said the Director-General. “Violence against media workers threatens the free flow of information. It also undermines good governance and rule of law. I trust that the authorities will do all they can to halt these attacks and bring their perpetrators to justice.”
Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a vehicle in which Abbas was travelling on assignment for the privately owned satellite channel Samaa TV on 12 February. He died in hospital while receiving treatment for his injuries.
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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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…”