Director-General urges Pakistan to investigate death of journalist Ilyas Nizzar
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has called for a thorough investigation into the killing of Pakistani journalist Ilyas Nizzar, who was found dead on 5 January near Pidarak, Baluchistan province, in southwest Pakistan.
“I deplore the death of Ilyas Nizzar,” said the Director-General. “Too many journalists in Pakistan and around the world have been murdered for upholding the basic human right of freedom of expression. I call on the authorities to do their utmost to investigate the circumstances of Ilyas Nizzar’s death. Impunity for such crimes cannot be tolerated.”
Nizzar, a reporter for the Baluch-language magazine Darwanth, had been missing and presumed abducted since December 28. According to Pakistan’s Federal Union of Journalists, Nizzar’s body was found on a dirt road, alongside that of a member of the Baluch Students' Organization, Qambar Chakar, who had disappeared from his home in Turbat on November 27.
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…”