The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called for an investigation into the killing of Tanzanian community radio reporter Issa Ngumba earlier this month.
“I condemn the murder of Issa Ngumba,” the Director-General said. “I trust the authorities will do all they can to elucidate this crime. It is essential that attacks on media workers be prosecuted so as to uphold the basic human right of freedom of expression. Safety contributes to journalists’ ability to inform public debate, the bedrock of democracy.”
Ngumba, 45, a reporter for Radio Kwizera, was found dead in Kajuhuleta Forest on 08 January, three days after he had gone missing from his home. According to media reports, his body shows evidence that he had been strangled or hanged.
Ngumba is the second journalist killed in Tanzania in recent months. Both are remembered in the dedicated UNESCO web page, UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists.
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…”