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Murder of Dominican journalist sparks condemnation from UNESCO

Murder of Dominican journalist sparks condemnation from UNESCO

The United Nations agency tasked with promoting press freedom today deplored the slaying of a print and television journalist in the Dominican Republic who had spoken out against drug trafficking.

José Agustin Silvestre was killed on Tuesday in La Romana, a south-eastern province of the Dominican Republic, a few hours after he was abducted by four men.

Mr. Silvestre, 59, hosted La Voz de la Verdad (“The Voice of Truth”) on Caña TV and published a fortnightly magazine with the same name, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a press release.

Quoting the Inter American Press Association, UNESCO said Mr. Silvestre was renowned for making controversial claims about drug trafficking in La Romana in his magazine and on his television programme.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova condemned the killing.

“It is essential that a full investigation be carried out into this case for journalists to be able to continue exercising their basic human right of freedom of expression,” she said.

Since it was established in 1946 the Paris-based UNESCO has been tasked with defending freedom of expression and press freedom, among other roles.