The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the murder of Edwin Rivera Paz, the Honduran journalist who was killed on 9 July in the town Acayucan, in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
“I condemn the murder of Edwin Rivera Paz,” the Director-General said. “I call for a thorough investigation into this crime. Freedom of expression and freedom of information in the region will remain threatened as long as impunity is allowed to prevail for crimes against journalists and media workers.”
Rivera Paz is reported to have sought refuge in Mexico because he feared for his life after the killing in January this year of Igor Padilla, the director and producer of a programme Rivera Paz had worked for on Honduran national television broadcaster HCH.
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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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…”