Director-General condemns murder of newspaper publisher Gregorio Ybanez in the Philippines

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called for an investigation into the killing of Philippines newspaper publisher Gregorio Ybanez who was shot and fatally injured on 18 August.

“I condemn the murder of Gregorio Ybanez and urge the authorities to investigate this crime swiftly and thoroughly,” said the Director-General. “Those responsible for this killing must be brought to justice, as impunity undermines the rule of law and freedom of expression, to the detriment of all members of society.”

Gregorio Ybanez was shot in the southern province of Davao Del Norte in the Philippines on 18 August and died in hospital the following day. He was the publisher of the Kabuhayan News Services weekly newspaper and president of a provincial media association, the Davao Del Norte Press and Radio-TV Club.

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…”