27.08.2010 -

UNESCO Director-General deplores death of Somali journalist Barkhad Awale Adan

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova deplored the death of Somali journalist Barkhad Awale Adan, who was killed on 24 August in Mogadishu in a clash between Transitional Federation Government troops and the insurgent group Al-Shabaab.

"I deplore the death of Barkhad Awale Adan," said Ms Bokova. "The Somali press is paying an exorbitant price for the instability prevailing in the country. Combatants must respect journalists' immunity. Without it, without security, no freedom of expression worthy of the name can exist, even though it is a fundamental human right."


The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), quoted by the network International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), described the veteran journalist as "prominent". Adan, 60, was the director of Hurma Radio, which is owned by a civil society organization. He was standing on the roof of the radio station, helping a technician to repair the transmitter, when he was hit in the stomach by a bullet, reported the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Rushed to hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

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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