Director-General urges investigation into killing of Kenyan newspaper publisher John Kituyi

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova today called on Kenyan authorities to shed light on the murder of John Kituyi, owner and editor of theMirror Weekly in the town of Eldoret in the west of Kenya, on 30 April.

“I condemn the murder of John Kituyi,” the Director-General said. “It is important that the Kenyan authorities conduct a thorough investigation into this crime. The freedom to produce, disseminate and receive news and information from free, diverse and independent media hinges on States’ commitment to ensure that media workers can carry out their professional duties without fear of violence and reprisal. This crime should not go unpunished.”

Kituyi, 63, was the editor and publisher of the Mirror Weekly, a regional newspaper he founded in Eldoret ten years ago.

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…”