Five journalists killed in South Sudan: Director-General urges measures to improve safety of media workers

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of five journalists in South Sudan and urged measures to improve the safety of media workers in the country.

“I condemn the killing of Musa Mohammed Dahiyah, Butrus Martin Khamis, Dalia Marko, Randa George Adam, and Adam Juma Adam,” the Director-General said. “These deaths are a blow to freedom of information and freedom of expression and I call on the authorities to do all in their power to ensure that these essential rights are protected and that journalists can carry out their work in safe conditions.”

The journalists—Musa Mohammed Dahiyah, of South Sudan Radio Wau; Butrus Martin Khamis, of South Sudan Television (SSTV); Dalia Marko, Randa George Adam and Adam Juma Adam—of Raja Radio Station—were travelling in a convoy with local officials in Western Bahr el Ghazal State on 25 January when they were attacked by unidentified gunmen. A total of eleven people were killed in the attack. Two of the journalists, Dalia Marko and Randa George Adam, were women.

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, 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…”