09.05.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Director-General condemns murder of Peruvian journalist Julio Castillo Narváez

Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO today condemned the murder of radio journalist Julio Castillo Narváez in the northern Peruvian city of Virú on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, as UNESCO and many of its Member States all over the world were celebrating the right of journalists to practice their profession freely.

“I condemn the murder of Julio Castillo Narváez,” the Director-General said. “This crime is an attack on the basic human right of journalists and citizens to speak their mind and hold free debates about issues that concern them. The tragedy of this killing is made all the more poignant for occurring on a day dedicated to the celebration of press freedom. I urge the authorities to investigate this killing and bring its culprits to justice.”

Julio Castillo Narváez, the host of a news show on Ollantay Radio in the city of Virú, was shot dead by unidentified individuals while having lunch at a local restaurant.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Castillo was known for his criticism of local authorities. He is said to have received repeated death threats.

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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