The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova today urged authorities in South Sudan to investigate the murder of journalist Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awol and bring his killers to justice. Better known by his pen name of Isaaiah Abraham, the columnist was shot dead in his house in Juba on 5 December.
“I condemn the assassination of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awol and call on the South Sudan authorities to respect the fundamental right of freedom of expression which is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the Director-General said. “Bringing the murderers of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awol to justice is an essential step in the young country’s construction as a lawful democracy.”
Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awol is reported to have received death threats in relation to his writing, published by a number of news outlets including the Paris-based Sudan Tribune, Gurtong and Sudanese Online. He was a former staff member of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) during the 1990s.
Isaiah Abraham is remembered on the dedicated UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists web page.
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…”