The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the murder of Brazilian journalist Geolino Lopes Xavier and urged the authorities to take measures to improve the safety of media workers.
“I condemn the killing of Geolino Lopes Xavier,” the Director-General said. “This violent attack highlights a serious threat to news professionals and to freedom of expression. Once again, I call on the authorities to spare no effort in pursuing those responsible for crimes against media workers.”
Geolino Lopes Xavier was shot and fatally injured as he was driving a car in Teixeira de Freitas, in the state of Bahía, on 27 February.
Lopes Xavier, 44, was the co-manager of the N3 television company on which he also anchored a news programme.
This case brings to five the number of journalists in Brazil whose killing has been denounced by the Director-General this year.
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…”