Director-General condemns murder of Pakistani journalist Ghulam Rasool Birhamani
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the murder of Pakistani journalist Ghulam Rasool Birhamani, whose body was found near Dadu, in the south of the country, on 10 May.
"I condemn the murder of Ghulam Rasool Birhamani," declared the Director-General. "No society can allow violence to muzzle journalists while aspiring to uphold human rights and liberties, democracy and rule of law. Journalists are committed to report the truth as they see it. No effort must be spared to bring to justice those who seek to deprive us of our right to know what journalists have to say, and to agree or disagree with it."
The body of Ghulam Rasool Birhamani, who wrote for the daily Sindhu Hyderabad, was found bearing head injuries and signs of torture. The 30-year-old reporter is said to have received death threats after reporting on the forced marriage of an underage girl in a tribal community.
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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