The head of the United Nations agency mandated to defend press freedom denounced today the murder of Washiqur Rahman Babu, a Bangladesh-based blogger, and reiterated the call for local authorities to defend freedom of expression and public debate in the South Asian country.
“It is important that the Bangladeshi authorities find and prosecute those responsible for this attack,” Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), declared in a press release issued earlier today.
“Freedom of expression and free debate cannot thrive in a climate of fear and self-censorship.”
According to UNESCO, three men attacked Mr. Rahman on 30 March as he left his home in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka to go to work. Mr. Rahman used to write under the penname Kutshit Hasher Chhana, or ‘Ugly Duckling.’
In a report released in March 2014, UNESCO stressed the growing trend of media workers being killed around the world. Focusing on the latest challenges affecting media development and freedom of expression, the report, called World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development, noted that more than 430 journalists were killed between 2007 and 2012.