The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the attack of 12 October on television executive Shir Mohammad Jahish in Afghanistan’s Baghlan Province that left the television channel director injured and his bodyguard, Amanullah Haqiar, dead.
“I condemn the attack on Shir Mohammad Jahish and Amanullah Haqiar, during which the latter was killed,” said the Director-General. “Attempts on the life of media workers threaten journalists’ ability to carry out their work, which is essential for democracy and good governance.”
Unidentified gunmen opened fire on the vehicle of Shir Mohammad Jahish, director of the local television channel Tanweer TV, as he was driving home with his bodyguard Amanullah Haqiar, who died in the attack. Mr Jahish sustained light injuries during the shooting, which took place in the town of Pul-i-khumri, in northeastern Afghanistan.
The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists
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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…”