The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the murder of journalist Auro Ida in the Brazilian city of Cuiabá on 22 July.
“I condemn the murder of Auro Ida,” the Director-General said. “The use of violence to stop journalists from exercising their basic human right of freedom of expression is unacceptable. It is essential that the authorities bring the killers of Auro Ida to justice.”
Auro Ida, 53, a former press secretary of the government of Cuiabá, was a founder of the news site Midianews, and wrote an opinion column for another news website, Olhar Direto. He was shot dead in his car by an unidentified man.
Ida is said to have been investigating local political corruption at the time of his killing. He is also said to have spoken of having received threats.
According to the Committee to Protect journalists (CPJ), Auro Ida is the fourth journalist killed in Brazil this year.
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…”