The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the murder of newspaper journalist Baksheesh Elahi, in northern Pakistan on 11 June.
“I condemn the murder of Baksheesh Elahi,” said the Director-General. “I trust the authorities will spare no effort in seeking out and bringing to justice those responsible for this crime against a man, against the basic human right of freedom of expression, and against freedom of information.”
Elahi, the bureau chief of the Urdu-language daily K2 Times, was shot by unidentified assailants near Lora Chowk in the Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in northern Pakistan.
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.
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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…”