The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the murder of Bangladeshi blogger Washiqur Rahman Babu. She called for the perpetrators of this killing to be brought to justice, to defend freedom of expression and public debate in Bangladesh.
‘I condemn the killing of Washiqur Rahman Babu,” the Director-General said. “It is important that the Bangladeshi authorities find and prosecute those responsible for this attack. Freedom of expression and free debate cannot thrive in a climate of fear and self-censorship,” Ms Bokova concluded.
Three men attacked Rahman, also known as Oyasiqur Rhaman, on 30 March as he left his home in Dhaka to go to work. Rahman used to write under the penname Kutshit Hasher Chhana (Ugly Duckling).
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.
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…”