The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today voiced concern over the safety of journalists in Pakistan, following news of the assassination of crime reporter Ahmed Ali Joiya in Pakistan’s province of Punjab late last month.
“I condemn the killing of Ahmed Ali Joiya”, the Director-General said. “I am gravely concerned about the number of attacks against journalists and media workers in Pakistan and trust that the authorities will carry out a thorough investigation of this case. It is essential that those responsible for such crime be brought to justice: This is important for journalists’ right to exercise their profession; and for the right of every one of us to receive information.”
Ahmed Ali Joiya, wrote about crime and drug trafficking for a number of publications. He was shot in a village market in Punjab province on 24 May. According to media reports, the journalist had received death threats from a known criminal.
Ahmed Ali Joiya is the sixth Pakistani reporter whose killing has been condemned by UNESCO this year. They are remembered in the dedicated webpage: 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…”