The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of two media workers in Pakistan on 9 September, and called for an investigation into both cases.
“I condemn the killing of Arshad Ali Jaffari and Aftab Alam,” the Director-General said. “Violence and fear must not be allowed to prevent journalists and media workers from doing their work. The safety of journalists and media workers is an essential condition for the press to keep the public informed. It is important that the authorities investigate these cases and bring those responsible for them to trial.”
Arshad Ali Jaffari, a satellite broadcast engineer for Geo News TV, was killed in Karachi when gunmen fired on a broadcast van in which he was working.
A few hours later in the same city, Aftab Alam was shot while driving his car near his home. Alam had reported for a number of news outlets including Geo News TV and Samaa TV.
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.
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…”