The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of a media worker during an armed attack on the offices of Shamshad Television in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 7 November.
“I condemn the cold-blooded killing of a Shamshad TV guard and the injuring of a shocking number of the station’s personnel,” said the Director-General. “I hereby extend my sincere sympathy and support to the staff of Shamshad Television and my condolences to the bereaved. I must also salute the courage of Shamshad staff who resumed broadcasting so quickly after enduring the trauma of a full blown terror attack.”
Gunmen disguised as policemen stormed the offices of Shamshad TV killing a guard at the gate and injuring between one and two dozen television workers, six of whom were reported to be in a critical condition at the time of writing. Shamshad TV is a commercial educational, news and entertainment satellite television channel broadcasting 24 hours a day.
The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the 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…”