08.11.2016 - UNESCOPRESS

Director-General deplores the death of journalist Nematullah Zahir in Afghanistan

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the death of broadcast journalist Nematullah Zahir in Afghanistan’s Helmand province on 4 November.

“I deplore the killing of Nematullah Zahir,” said the Director-General. “It is essential that the authorities as well as media organizations in Afghanistan do all they can to improve the safety of media workers. As part of the drive to save lives and enable the media to continue informing the public, UNESCO and its partners have published guidebook for journalists in high-risk environments, which I call on all concerned to heed.”

Nematullah Zahir, a reporter for Ariana TV, was killed by a bomb near the city of Lashkar Gah while driving on a reporting assignment.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.


Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

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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