The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of Valério Luiz de Oliveira, a sports journalist in the western city of Goiânia.
“I condemn the killing of Valério Luiz de Oliveira,” the Director-General said. “It is essential that the authorities shed light on this murder and ensure the observance of the basic human right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to engage in informed, open debate.”
On 5 July, an unidentified gunman shot Luiz, 49, outside his offices at Radio Jornal 820AM where he used to host a sport programme. Luiz was known for his outspoken criticism of the management of the local soccer team.
A total of ten journalists and media workers, including Valério Luiz de Oliveira, have been killed in Brazil since 2009. They are listed on the dedicated webpage, UNESCO Condemns Killing of Journalists.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, +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…”