24.08.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Director-General condemns killing of journalist Munir Shakar in Balochistan, Pakistan

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of Munir Shakar, who was shot dead in Khuzdar, in Pakistan’s province of Balochistan, on 14 August.

"I condemn the killing of Munir Shakar," the Director-General said. "It is essential that the perpetrators of this crime be brought to justice as soon as possible. Journalists must be provided with reasonable conditions of security if they are to exercise the basic human right of freedom of expression and provide people with the independent information they require to exercise their democratic rights responsibly."

The Rural Media Network, a Pakistani nongovernmental organization, reports that Shakar, a correspondent for the Online News Network and Balochi TV Sabzbagh, was shot on his way home from the Khuzdar Press Club.

Munir Shakar, is the 13th journalist killed in Pakistan this year according to the Rural Media Network.

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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…”




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