The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today voiced grave concern about the killing of Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev in the province of Dagestan on 9 July.
“I condemn the killing of Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev,” the Director-General said. “Using violence to silence journalists who inform society about the problems it is facing does not make those problems go away, it simply reduces a society’s ability to tackle them. I therefore trust that the authorities will spare no effort to bring to justice those responsible for a crime against a man and a profession that is important for democracy.”
Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev was the deputy editor of the Novoye Delo weekly newspaper. He was shot dead in his car near his home on the outskirts of Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala. Akhmednabiyev survived an assassination attempt in January and had received numerous threats to his life.
Akhmednabiyev is the second journalist killed in the Russian Federation this year and is remembered in the dedicated webpage, UNESCO Condemns Killing of Journalists.
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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…”