UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today voiced concern for the safety of journalists in Nigeria following the killing of Ikechukwu Udendu in Onithsa in the southeast of the country on 12 January.
“I condemn the murder of Ikechukwu Udendu,” the Director-General said. “I trust the authorities will investigate this case and do all they can to bring the culprits to trial. Journalists and editors must be able to carry out their work without fearing reprisals if the basic human right of freedom of expression is to be respected. Safety is an essential condition for press freedom to allow journalists to exercise their duty and to nurture informed debate.
Ikechukwu Udendu, editor of monthly newspaper Anambra News was shot dead by unknown assailants on 12 January in Onithsa, where the paper was being printed.
Three journalists and media workers came to death in Nigeria in 2012. They are remembered in the 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