The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, condemned the murder of three employees of Express News television, targeted in an attack on their vehicle in Karachi on 17 January; Waqas Aziz, Ashraf Yusuf and Khalid Khan.
“I condemn the murder of three Express News television employees,” the Director-General said. “I call on the authorities in Pakistan to ensure that those responsible for the killing are prosecuted and brought to trial. Violence against the media cannot be allowed to continue with impunity and I urge the authorities to do all in their power to ensure media freedom and enhance the safety of all media workers.”
Technician Waqas Aziz, security guard Ashraf Yusuf, and driver Khalid Khan—all three employed by Express News—were fatally injured in a shooting attack on their television van in Karachi. An extremist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Director-General has condemned a total of eight media workers’ killings in Pakistan since the start of 2013. The condemnations are available online.
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…”