UN agency condemns murder of newspaper employees in Guyana

21 August 2006

Continuing his campaign to spotlight threats to press freedom worldwide, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the murder of four employees at a newspaper in Guyana.

Continuing his campaign to spotlight threats to press freedom worldwide, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the murder of four employees at a newspaper in Guyana.

The workers at the Kaieteur News printing plant on the outskirts of the capital, Georgetown, were murdered on the night of 8 August, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Masked attackers armed with automatic weapons first shot a plant guard, then forced five employees to lie down before shooting them in the back of the head. One survivor reportedly remains in critical condition.

“I condemn the brutal killing of Richard Stewart, Chetram Persaud, Elion Wegman, and Mark Mikoo,” said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, in a statement issued in Paris. “I am deeply shocked by this heinous crime against innocent workers.”

“This must be considered as an attack on freedom of the press and democracy,” he went on to say, adding: “I trust that the authorities will do all they can to bring the culprits to justice, thereby protecting democracy and rule of law.”

In recent weeks, Mr. Matsuura has condemned the murders of journalists in half a dozen countries.

 

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