13.06.2008 -

Director-General condemns assassination of Somali journalist and union leader Nasteh Dahir Farah

The Director-General of UNESCO condemned the killing of Somali journalist Nasteh Dahir Farah, Vice President of the National Union of Somali Journalists and a reporter for the BBC, on the evening of 7 June, and called on the authorities to bring the culprits to trial.

"I condemn the murder of Nasteh Dahir Farah," the Director-General declared. "The loss of Nasteh Dahir Farah is particularly tragic in view of his commitment both to his profession as a reporter and to his fellow professionals, whom he sought to help through his work for the National Union of Somali Journalists. I call on the authorities to do all they can to bring to justice the culprits of this heinous crime against democracy and against Somali society as a whole."


Nasteh Dahir Farah, a reporter for the BBC's Somali Service, was gunned down in the southern town of Kismayu on his way home. The 28-year-old journalist was elected Vice President of the National Union of Somali Journalists in 2005.


The Director-General has written to the BBC expressing his support for the Corporation which also lost another reporter, Abdul Samad Rohani, who was killed in Afghanistan the same day.


Omar Faruk Osman, the Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists condemned the assassination, pointing out that Nasteh Dahir Farah had reported having received several anonymous death threats. Mr Osman further protested that journalists in the country are unprotected.


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..."

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