Building peace in the minds of men and women

Director-General denounces assassination of Paraguayan journalist Edgar Pantaleón Fernández Fleitas

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today urged the authorities of Paraguay to ensure that those responsible for the assassination of radio journalist Edgar Pantaleón Fernández Fleitas are brought to trial.

“I condemn the murder of Edgar Pantaleón Fernández Fleitas,” the Director-General said. “It is important that those responsible for crimes against journalists be brought to trial. The justice system must be mobilized to prevent violence from muzzling freedom of expression and press freedom.”

Fernández, a lawyer who hosted a daily news programme on the community radio station Belén Comunicaciones was shot dead in his office in the city of Concepción, in the north of Paraguay on 19 June.

The broadcaster is the second journalist to be killed in Paraguay this year. The Director-General’s statements on the killing of media workers are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.


Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at), +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…”