Director-General deplores killing of Pakistani cameraman Munir Ahmed Sangi
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today deplored the killing of Pakistani cameraman Munir Ahmed Sangi who was shot dead on Monday while covering a gunfight in the Pakistani town of Larkana. Mr Matsuura called for improved safety for journalists working in areas of armed conflict.
"I deplore the killing of Munir Ahmed Sangi," the Director-General declared. "In keeping with the First Protocol of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of civilians in times of conflict, it is essential for all armed groups to understand and to respect media workers' need to carry out their work in conflict areas. They must respect for the safety of journalists and there can be no excuse for confusing media workers and fighters," the Director-General concluded.
Mr Sangi is reported to have been shot while filming a gunfight between members of the Unar and Abro tribes in Larkana, in the Sindh district of south-eastern Pakistan for Sindhi-language Kawish Television Network (KTN). According to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Mr Sangi may have been targeted because of his station's reports on a jirga, or council, in which the leaders of the Unar tribe, ruled on the punishment of two children.
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..."