10.10.2012 - UNESCOPRESS

Director-General denounces shooting of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, today condemned the attack on a school bus in Swat in north-west Pakistan, which left three girls injured including Malala Yousafzai—a 14-year old campaigner for girls’ right to education.

“I am deeply shocked by the brutality of this attack aimed at killing a 14-year old girl simply because she defends girls’ right to education” said the Director-General. “Guns cannot be allowed to wipe out the right to education or the right to freedom of expression – this in attack against the right to dignity, against the right to learn, againt the right to make the most of life, and it is unacceptable –it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to stand up against this,” said the Director General.

            “I dearly hope that Malala Yousafzai and her two fellow school girls will recover fully from their injuries and be able to return to school,” added Ms Bokova. “Ms Yousafzai showed great courage when she publicly defended the right of all girls to go to school in Swat. May her courage help through this ordeal and enable her to fulfil her great potential.”

            According to media reports, the Taleban admitted responsibility for the attack which took place on 9 October near the town of Mingora, saying that they tried to kill Ms Yousafzai.

            Ms Yousafzai attracted public attention in 2009 when she published a blog describing her life in Swat when the Taleban gained control of much of the region in 2009. She went on to become a champion of the rights of children and girls.




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