UNESCO Director-General condemns murder of TV journalist Luis Arturo Mondragón Morazán
The Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova condemned the murder of Honduran TV journalist Luis Arturo Mondragón Morazán of Canal 19, who was gunned down in El Paraíso on the night of 14 June 2010. She also called on the authorities to take measures to stem the rising wave of violence again journalists in Honduras.
"I condemn the murder of Luis Arturo Mondragón Morazán," the Director-General said. "It is essential that a thorough investigation of this, and all the other killings of journalists, be carried out to stem the alarming wave of violence against the media that is crippling democracy in Honduras. It is important to bring this blood-letting to an end so as to uphold the universal human right of freedom of expression and the right of the people of Honduras to be kept informed of events in their country."
Luis Arturo Mondragón Morazán, the owner and news director of Canal 19, was shot by two men as he was leaving work. According to the Committee to Protect Journaists (CPJ), Luis Arturo Mondragón Morazán reported mainly on local news, including government corruption, environmental issues, and crime. The CPJ reports that a relative who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the journalist had been receiving anonymous death threats by phone for the past two years. He is the 7th Honduran journalist to be murdered this year, according to the journalist protection NGO.
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 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..."