The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of community radio journalist Elisabeth Blanche Olofio in a rebel raid on Radio Be Oko, a community radio operating in the town of Bambari (Central African Republic).
“I condemn the killing of Elisabeth Blanche Olofio and feel grave concern about the safety of her colleagues,” said the Director-General. “I urge all the fighting factions in the country to respect the civilian status of journalists. Community media are a major source of news for most of the population and contribute to the well-being and development of ordinary citizens.
Elisabeth Blanche Olofio was killed when rebels stormed the station on 08 January. Press freedom associations have received no news concerning the safety of her colleagues and the radio station has had to stop its broadcasts.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +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…”