Director-General of UNESCO condemns killing of two Pakistani journalists
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the murders of Pakistani journalists Misri Khan Orakzai and Mujeebur Rehman Saddiqui, perpetrated on 14 and 16 September.
"I condemn the killing of Misri Khan Orakzai and of Mujeebur Rehman Saddiqui," said the Director-General. "In carrying out their professional duties, they helped to uphold the basic right of freedom of expression. I call on the authorities in Pakistan to do their utmost to arrest the culprits of these crimes and bring them to justice."
Mujeebur Rehman Saddiqui, 39, was a senior correspondent for the newspaper Daily Pakistan. He was shot dead on 16 September by unidentified gunmen as he was leaving the mosque after evening prayers in the north-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Misri Khan Orakzai, 48, was correspondent in Hangdu for several newspapers, including Jinnah in Islamabad and Mashriq in Peshawar, and president of the Hangdu Union of Journalists. He was killed on 14 September by three unidentified gunmen outside the Hangdu press club, also in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Shot four times, he died at the scene. According to international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Taliban have claimed responsibility for his murder.
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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