The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of radio journalist Efigenia Vásquez Astudillo on 8 October in Cauca, in the southwest of Colombia.
“I condemn the killing of Efigenia Vásquez Astudillo,” said the Director-General. “I call on the authorities to investigate this crime, which undermines both freedom of expression and freedom of information, rights that are crucial to any democracy.”
Efigenia Vásquez Astudillo, a reporter and presenter for community radio station Renacer Kokonuko, was shot while covering clashes in Puracé.
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…”