UNESCO denounces yet one more journalist’s murder, this time in Haiti

31 January 2005

In yet another denunciation of the murder of a journalist, this time in Haiti and reportedly by police, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned this “intolerable attack on democracy and rule of law.”

In yet another denunciation of the murder of a journalist, this time in Haiti and reportedly by police, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned this “intolerable attack on democracy and rule of law.”

Haitian radio reporter Abdias Jean was allegedly killed by police in the Village de Dieu sector of the capital Port-au-Prince on 14 January. Police are reported to have beaten and shot him after he identified himself as a journalist while covering a police raid on the shanty town and their killing of several people there.

“I strongly condemn the killing of Abdias Jean who appears to have been shot dead for carrying out his professional duty to inform the public,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said. “If reports that Mr. Jean was killed by the police are confirmed, it would be particularly shocking to think that such crimes are perpetrated by the very forces responsible for law and order.”

He voiced his concern about the situation in Haiti, and persistent reports of violence against the media, which he said “have an essential role to play if normalcy and good governance are to be established in the country.”

It was the latest of many condemnations Mr. Matsuura has issued over the past year in connection with attacks on journalists around the world. UNESCO's mandate inckudes the defence of freedom of expression and press freedom.

 

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