Director-General condemns killing of Yemeni journalist Abdul Karim Mohammed al-Khaiwani

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the murder of journalist and human rights activist Abdul Karim Mohammed al-Khaiwani in the capital of Yemen, Sanaa, on 18 March. Mr al-Khaiwani won Amnesty International UK’s Special Award for Human Rights Journalism under Threat in 2008 and was a Goodwill Ambassador of the International Council for Human Rights in Yemen.

“I condemn the murder of Abdul Karim Mohammed al-Khaiwani, a dedicated journalist of outstanding integrity,” the Director-General said. “His death is a loss to the people of Yemen and the quest for informed reporting and debate. Mr al-Khaiwani’s killers must be brought to trial as quickly as possible.”

Al-Khaiwani was shot by unidentified gunmen near his home in the capital of Yemen. He was a contributor to various independent and opposition media and a former editor of Al-Shoura, a pro-democracy newspaper that closed in 2005.

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…”