Uganda: Director-General deplores death of journalist Paul Kiggundu
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, deplored the death of Paul Kiggundu, correspondent of Top Radio and several TV stations in Uganda, on 10 September in the southern town of Rakai. The journalist was killed by an angry crowd during a demonstration.
“I deplore the death of Paul Kiggundu,” said Ms Bokova. “He died in the exercise of his mission as a journalist, covering the news so that the public could be informed. His murder is a tragic illustration of the risks media professionals take every day in the name of freedom of expression. I call on the Ugandan authorities to make every effort to investigate this crime and bring the culprits to justice.”
On 10 September, Mr Kiggundu was covering a protest by dozens of motorcyclists following the murder the previous day of a fellow motorcyclist. The protesters attacked the home of a suspect then turned on Mr Kiggundu when they saw him filming them. He was beaten unconscious and died on his way to hospital.
According to media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), police are investigating but no arrests have been made.
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…”