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Director-General condemns shooting of Paul Abayomi Ogundeji, of Nigerian newspaper Thisday

26-08-2008 (Paris)
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, condemned the assassination of Paul Abayomi Ogundeji, a member of the editorial board of the Lagos-based daily newspaper Thisday who was shot in a suburb of the Nigerian capital on 17 August.
“I condemn the shooting of Paul Abayomi Ogundeji,” the Director-General declared. “Mr Ogundeji is the second member of Thisday’s editorial board to be murdered in two years and his killing is a blow to the basic human right of freedom of expression in Nigeria. I trust that the authorities will spare no effort in investigating this crime and bringing its culprits to trial, in the interest of democracy, good governance and rule of law.”

Mr Abayomi Ogundeji joined the board of Thisday about three months ago. He had previously worked with several other publications, including The Guardian, Punch, and the Comet, which has since gone out of print. There were conflicting reports about the circumstances of his killing.

Godwin Agbroko, a former chairman of Thisday’s editorial board was shot dead on his way from the office on 22 December 2006. His killers have yet to be found.

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 purpose the Organization is required 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

      · Nigeria
      · Press Freedom
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists
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