UNESCO chief alarmed at attacks on journalists in north-west Pakistan

27 August 2009

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the recent killing of a television journalist in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP), and urged authorities to ensure the safety of media professionals in the South Asian nation.

Sadiq Bacha Khan, a correspondent of Aaj TV and former President of the Press Club of Mardan, was shot dead on his way to work on 14 August.

“This crime is a blow to freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” said Koïchiro Matsuura, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“I urge the authorities to do everything in their power to put a stop to the killing of journalists, which has become particularly alarming in North West Frontier Province,” he added.

Mr. Matsuura also paid tribute to Mr. Khan’s “courage and commitment” both to his profession and to helping the inhabitants of NWFP, which has been the scene of a major displacement crisis prompted by the Government’s military offensive against militants in the region.

According to the International Press Institute, 11 journalists have been killed in Pakistan over the last two years, six of them in NWFP.


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UNESCO head speaks out against murder of Pakistani journalist

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with upholding press freedom today condemned the killing of a Pakistani journalist late last month, stressing that the murder undercuts the right to freedom of expression.