The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of Peruvian television journalist Pedro Alfonso Flores Silva on 8 September.
"I condemn the killing of Pedro Alfonso Flores," the Director-General said. "The killing of journalists is a serious blow to democracy and I trust that the Peruvian authorities will not let such a serious crime go unpunished. Those who use violence to stifle public scrutiny into their affairs must be exposed, if democracy and rule of law are to be sustained."
Pedro Alfonso Flores Silva, 36, died of injuries sustained when he was shot by masked gunmen near his home in the city of Casma on 7 September. The programme director of local Canal 6 television, Flores Silva had been the target of repeated threats during recent months, according to Reporters without Borders. The NGO says that the threats were connected to the journalist’s work on alleged corruption cases.
According to the same source, Flores Silva is the second media professional assassinated in Peru this year.
UNESCO is the only 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…”