UNESCO chief condemns murder of Colombian radio journalist

18 August 2006

As part of his continued campaign to focus attention on threats to press freedom worldwide, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the killing of a radio journalist in Colombia.

As part of his continued campaign to focus attention on threats to press freedom worldwide, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the killing of a radio journalist in Colombia.

Milton Fabián Sánchez, whose programme for Yumbo Estéreo focused on political and community issues, was shot by two men as he was on his way home on 9 August.

“I urge the Colombian authorities to do all they can to bring the culprits of this crime to justice,” said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura in a statement released in Paris.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 25 media professionals have been killed in Colombia in the past decade. The CPJ notes, however, that such attacks have declined recently, with only one murder in 2005 and one so far this year. Nonetheless, the CPJ reports that journalists, especially those covering crime and corruption, continue to face threats.

“Although I welcome the commitment shown by the authorities in Colombia to defend press freedom and note the decrease in the number of deadly attacks on journalists in the country over the past two years,” said Mr. Matsuura. “I am concerned about this murder and about reports of continued threats and intimidation against journalists, notably those reporting on crime.”

Mr. Matsuura has recently condemned the murders of journalists in Iraq, Mexico, China, Russia and Brazil.

 

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