Director-General condemns killing of Honduran journalist José Noel Canales Lagos and calls for end to impunity for such murders

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called on the Honduran authorities to investigate the assassination of web reporter José Noel Canales and bring its culprits to trial. 

“I deplore the killing of José Noel Canales,” the Director-General said. “All too many journalists in Honduras have lost their lives for exercising their basic human right of freedom of expression. I trust that the recent measures announced by the authorities to combat such crimes will allow the citizens of Honduras once again to access the full range of information that independent and pluralistic media can provide when they are able to carry out their work without having to fear for their lives.”

José Noel Canales was shot dead while driving to work on 10 August in Tegucigalpa. He had been working for the Hondurdiario website since 2000. According to news reports, Canales had received frequent death threats since 2009.

A total of 22 journalists have been killed in Honduras since 2009 and are remembered on the dedicated site

Media contact: Guy Berger, g.berger(at), +33 (0)1 45 68 42 03

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…”