The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the violent attack on the Afghan Parliament in Kabul, which claimed dozens of lives, including those of two parliamentary television workers, named as Farida Mustakhdim and Noorullah, on 10 January.
“I condemn the attack on an institution that is at the very heart of democracy,” said the Director-General “The killing of Farida Mustakhdim and Noorullah, along with those of so many other people who worked to represent and respect the will of the people of Afghanistan, is an attack on the very goals of good governance, dialogue and inclusion which are essential to peace.”
Farida Mustakhdi was an employee for Wolesi Jirga television, the Afghan parliament television service, for which Norullah worked as a cameraman. Both died along with many other civilians when the parliament came under the attack of suicide bombers.
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…”