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Director-General condemns murder of Thai newspaper editor Wallop Bounsampop

20-10-2008 (Paris)
Director-General condemns murder of Thai newspaper editor Wallop Bounsampop
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, condemned the murder of Wallop Bounsampop, editor of Den Siam, a local newspaper in Chonburi province (south of Bangkok), on 5 October.
“I condemn the murder of Wallop Bounsampop,” the Director-General said. “This murder, like all attacks on media workers, undermines the basic human right of freedom of expression. I trust that the authorities will do all they can to bring the culprits of this reprehensible crime to justice. This is all the more important in view of the increase in the number of attacks on journalists in the country,” Mr Matsuura concluded.

Wallop Bounsampop, 52, was shot in the head by two men on a motorcycle as he was helping his wife in a restaurant in his home village. According to the non-governmental organization, Reporters without Borders, the murder could be linked to the editor’s articles.

Reporters without Borders states that Wallop Bounsampop is the fourth Thai journalist to be killed this year.

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

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