17.06.2013 - UNESCOPRESS

UNESCO Director-General condemns murder of Brazilian journalist José Roberto Ornelas de Lemos

The Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the murder of Jose Roberto Ornelas de Lemos, managing director of the newspaper Hora H, who was killed on June 11 on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

"I condemn the murder of Jose Roberto Ornelas de Lemos and call on the authorities to do everything in their power to bring those responsible for this crime to justice," said the Director-General. "Attempting to silence the media stifles democratic debate and undermines the rule of law. It also violates the fundamental right of freedom of expression, and must not be tolerated." she added.

                José Roberto Ornelas de Lemos was shot by masked gunmen in the municipality of Nova Iguaçu.  The journalist had received several threats in the past, according to his father, Jose Lemos, the owner and founder of the newspaper reputed for its investigations into crime and corruption.

                José Roberto Ornelas de Lemos is the fifth journalist killed in Brazil in 2013. He is  remembered on the dedicated site UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists.



Media Contact: Sylvie Coudray s.coudray @ unesco.org


UNESCO is the 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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