The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the killing of Pakistani TV journalist Abdul Qadir Hajizai and called for an investigation into this attack on the basic human right of freedom of expression.
“I condemn the assassination of Abdul Qadir Hajizai and urge the authorities to bring to justice the culprits of this new offense against freedom of expression,” the Director-General said. “The alarming level of violence in the region and the number of attacks on journalists in particular pose a real problem to people’s ability to engage in the informed debate that is the cornerstone of democracy and rule of law. It is therefore essential that the perpetrators of these crimes be made answerable for their misdeeds.”
Abdul Qadir Hajizai, a school principal and journalist for a private Baluchi-language TV channel, WASH TV, is reported to have been shot by gunmen riding a motorcycle in the Basima area of Washik district on 28 May.
Twenty-eight journalists have been killed in Pakistan since 2008. They are remembered on the dedicated web page UNESCO condemns killing of journalists.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, +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…”