The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has called for an investigation into the killing of broadcast journalist Haroon Khan in the town of Swabi in the northwestern Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunwa on 12 October.
“I condemn the killing of Haroon Khan,” said the Director-General. “I call on the authorities to investigate this crime and bring its perpetrators to justice. It is essential that acts of violence against the media be punished as such crimes limit journalists’ ability to carry out their work and the public’s right to be kept informed.”
Haroon Khan, a journalist for several local television broadcasters including Waqt News TV and Mashriq TV, was shot by unidentified gunmen outside his home.
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…”