Director-General condemns the murder of journalist Khurram Zaki in Pakistan

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of journalist Khurram Zaki in the city of Karachi on 7 May.

“I condemn the murder of Khurram Zaki,” the Director-General said. “I call on the authorities to bring the perpetrators of this crime to trial, so as to deter others from using violence to stifle freedom of expression and prevent the people of Pakistan from engaging in free and informed debate.”

Khurram Zaki, an outspoken human rights activist and former television news journalist, was the editor of an online webstite, Let us Build Pakistan. He was shot by unidentified assailants.

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…”