The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called for an investigation into the death of Colombian journalist Guillermo Quiroz Delgado who died on 27 November of injuries sustained in custody.
“I am concerned about the death of Guillermo Quiroz Delgado and call for an investigation into the incident,” the Director-General said. “It is important that journalists be allowed to exercise their basic human right to freedom of expression if they are to fulfil their professional mission and nurture informed public debate. This means that acts of violence against them must be investigated and brought to justice.”
Guillermo Quiroz Delgado, 31, was a part time journalist for the cable TV news programme Notisabanas and a contributor to El Meridiano newspaper. He was arrested while covering a demonstration in the town of San Pedro and was transferred to an intensive care unit where he died on 27 November.
Quiroz is the second Colombian to be remembered in UNESCO’s dedicated web page this year.
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…”