Director-General condemns murder of Turkish editor
The Director-General of UNESCO today condemned the killing of Hrant Dink, editor of the Armenian-language weekly Agos, in Istanbul.
"I condemn the killing of Hrant Dink," the Director-General declared. "Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and press freedom, its corollary, is a cornerstone of democracy and rule of law. I welcome the speed with which the Turkish authorities investigated this case, proof of their determination not to let this heinous crime go unpunished," Mr Matsuura said.
Mr Dink was shot outside the offices of his publication on 19 January. The 53-year old editor, a prominent public figure, is reported to have been the target of threats from Turkish nationalists.
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..."