20.05.2010 -

Director-General condemns murder of Somali journalist Sheikh Nur Abkey

Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, today condemned the murder of Somali radio journalist Sheikh Nur Abkey who was abducted and shot dead on 4 May near his home in southern Mogadishu.

"I condemn the murder of Sheikh Nur Abkey," the Director-General declared. "His brutal killing is a heinous crime against a brave journalist and against Somali society as a whole. Nothing good will come to the people of Somalia from those seeking to deprive citizens of the right to know and journalists of the basic human right of freedom of expression. Those working for the oppression of Somalia must be thwarted."


Nur Mohamed Abkey, a veteran journalist, was abducted on his way home from work at the state-run Radio Mogadishu. He also worked as a trainer for young journalists at the radio station, which is regarded as critical of Islamic insurgents in the country.


According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 33 journalists have been killed in Somalia since 1993.

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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