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Director-General of UNESCO condemns murder of Filipino journalist Robert Sison

07-07-2008 (Paris)
Director-General of UNESCO condemns murder of Filipino journalist Robert Sison
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koїchiro Matsuura, today condemned the killing of Robert Sison, Filipino radio host and newspaper correspondent, who was gunned down by unidentified assailants on 30 June in Sariaya town, Quezon province, 97 km from Manila (Philippines).
“I condemn the brutal murder of Robert Sison,” said Mr Matsuura. “The targeting of professional journalists represents an intolerable violation of the basic human right of freedom of expression. I call upon the government of the Philippines to fully investigate his death and to increase protection for journalists.”

Robert “Bert” Sison, 60, was host of a local radio programme and correspondent for the weekly newspaper “Regional Bulletin”, which has published articles critical of local officials. He was shot to death by gunmen on motorcycles while driving home. His two daughters, both also journalists, were in the car with him. Liwayway, 30, was shot in the arm; Almira, 24, escaped injury.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Sison is the second media professional to be killed this year in the Philippines.

UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”
Related themes/countries

      · Philippines
      · Press Freedom: News Archives 2008
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists: News Archives 2008
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