The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the murder of Honduran radio journalist Medardo Flores, killed on the night of 8 September, and called for measures to bring his killers to justice.
“I condemn the murder of Medardo Flores,” the Director-General said. “The number of journalists killed in Honduras over the last two years is very worrying. These crimes must be investigated and their perpetrators must be brought to justice for the sake of freedom of expression, a fundamental human right, and press freedom, its corollary. Unfettered debate is one of the foundations of democracy and rule of law. We must make sure that freedom of expression thrives.”
Medardo Flores, a journalist with Radio Uno was shot dead near his home in Puerto Cortés.
According to Reporters without Borders, a total of 15 journalists have been murdered in Honduras in the past 18 months.
UNESCO is the only 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…”