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UNESCO chief deplores murder of Pakistani journalist

UNESCO chief deplores murder of Pakistani journalist

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the murder of a Pakistani journalist, who was shot dead last week after interviewing a member of the country’s Taliban movement.

Mohammed Ibrahim, 44, was killed in the north-western tribal area of Bajaur, near the border with Afghanistan, on 22 May as he returned on his motorcycle from an interview with a spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

The camera, notes and footage of the interview, conducted for the news channel Express TV, were stolen by the attackers of Mr. Ibrahim, who also worked for the Urdu-language newspaper Daily Express.

“Killing the messenger does not solve any problems whatsoever,” said Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in a statement deploring the murder.

“It is essential for democracy that journalists be able to carry out their mission of public information. Their job is vital if the public is to engage in open debate and be able to make informed decisions.”

UNESCO, which is headquartered in Paris, is mandated to defend both freedom of expression and press freedom.