The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the murder of Philippines radio presenter Niel Jimena and called for an investigation in the killing.
"I condemn the murder of Niel Jimena,” the Director-General said. “Violence must never be allowed to curb freedom of expression, the fundamental human right that underpins press freedom. I call on the authorities to spare no effort in finding those responsible for this crime which strikes at the heart of Philippines society as a whole."
Niel Jimena was shot dead in Enrique B. Magalona, Negros Occidental, and investigations are underway to see whether his murder was connected to his work, as suggested by local press reports that say he had been receiving threats.
A former informant of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Jimena, 42 had programmes on several radio stations.
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…”