The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the murder of Brazilian radio journalist Israel Gonçalves Silva.
“I condemn the killing of Israel Gonçalves Silva,” said the Director-General. “Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and I call on the authorities to investigate this crime and bring those responsible for it to trial.”
Israel Gonçalves Silva—host of a daily radio programme, “Open Microphone,” on community station, Rádio Itaenga FM—was killed by an unidentified gunman on the streets of the town of Lagoa de Itaenga in the northeast of Brazil on 11 November.
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.
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…”