UNESCO DIRECTOR-GENERAL CONDEMNS KILLING OF IRANIAN JOURNALIST BY TALEBAN

Paris, September 14 {No.98-188} - UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor today condemned the killing of Mahmoud Saremi, a correspondent of the official Iranian news agency, IRNA, in Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan.

Mr Mayor, who last month called for the release of the journalist in response to early reports of his kidnapping by the Taleban, declared: “All share in the duty to provide secure conditions for journalists in the exercise of their profession. Attacks on journalists constitute an unlawful restriction of the free flow of information which lies at the very heart of good governance and rule of law. It is UNESCO’s responsibility to promote the free flow of information and to condemn all those who use violence or other unlawful means to restrict it.”

“We must hope that the killing of Mr Saremi does not mark the start of a new spiral of violence in a region already devastated by years of war. The region’s reconstruction, healing the wounds of war, is not going to be helped by the Taleban and their barbarous rule, based on the misinterpretation of a humane religion. This is why the Taleban must not be recognised by the community of nations which should do all it can to ensure that the voice of reason and moderation prevails in the interest of populations which have been subjected to untold suffering and abuses by successive waves of violence and repression.”

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