The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the murder of Cambodian environmental journalist Hang Serei Oudom and asked for an investigation into his killing.
“I am deeply concerned by the killing of Hang Serei Oudom,” the Director-General said. “This is the first murder of a journalist in Cambodia in a long time and I trust that the Cambodian authorities will do all in their power to bring those responsible for this crime to justice. Crimes against media personnel must be brought to justice to prevent a climate of fear from constricting journalists’ ability to claim their human and professional right to freedom of expression.”
The body of Hang Serei Oudom was found on 11 September in the boot of his car at a cashew nut plantation in the northern Ratanakiri province. The 44-year-old reporter covered environmental issues for the Vorakchun Khmer Daily.
Mr Serei Oudom had been working on articles about illegal logging. He is the first Cambodian journalist to be killed in the line of duty in several years. UNESCO’s condemnations of violence against journalists are posted on a dedicated page.
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…”