22.10.2007 -

Director-General condemns assassination of Somali radio executive Bashir Nor Gedi

The Director-General of UNESCO Koïchiro Matsuura today condemned the assassination of Bashir Nor Gedi, the acting chairperson of Shabelle Media network who was killed in his home on 19 October.

"I condemn the assassination of Bashir Nor Gedi," the Director-General said. "After years of violence, Somalia needs more communication, information and debate to consolidate the premises for its reconstruction. Murderers seeking to muzzle the media are undermining people's inalienable right to think and to decide what is right and what they want. I am gravely concerned about worsening violence against journalists and media personnel in Somalia who are brave enough to fulfil their professional commitments in such a dangerous environment," Mr Matsuura concluded.


Bashir Nor Gedi, the chief executive of a popular radio station, was shot by unidentified gunmen in his home. He is the eighth media person killed in Somalia this year, according to the International Freedom of Expression Exchange network (IFEX) which also reports that that several senior journalists of the Shabelle radio station have fled Mogadishu following recent attacks.


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..."

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