Director-General condemns killing of Haitian press photographer Jean-Rémy Badio
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the killing of freelance photographer Jean-Rémy Badio in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on 19 January.
"I condemn the murder of Jean-Rémy Badio," the Director-General declared. "For the fundamental human right of freedom of expression to be respected, journalists must be able to carry out their professional obligations without obstruction. This basic right is doubly important as it constitutes a condition for democracy and rule of law."
"I trust," Mr Matsuura concluded, "that the authorities will spare no effort in bringing to trial the assassins of Mr Badio, so as to preserve progress achieved in the safety of journalists in the country."
Freelance photographer Jean-Rémy Badio was shot dead in his home in the southern Port-au-Prince district of Martissant," according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). RSF quotes the organization SOS Journalistes in saying that Mr Badio was shot by members of a gang he had photographed a few days before, and that he had received threats from gang members prior to his death.
UNESCO is the only 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 purpose the Organization is required 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..."