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Director-General deplores death of Congolese journalist Bruno Ossébi

16-02-2009 (Paris)
Director-General deplores death of Congolese journalist Bruno Ossébi
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today deplored the death of Bruno Ossébi in the Republic of Congo and urged a full inquiry into the circumstances of this tragic event.
“I deplore the death of Bruno Ossébi,” declared the Director-General. “I trust that the authorities will spare no effort in seeking to elucidate this tragedy as soon as possible. It is important to remember that the work of journalists is essential not only if we are to uphold the basic human right of freedom of expression but for democracy and good governance, issues that concern societies everywhere.”

Bruno Ossébi was a columnist for the online newspaper Mwinda and was known for writing about alleged high-level corruption. The 43-year-old journalist died in a military hospital in Brazzaville on 2 February. He had previously been reported to be recovering from injuries sustained in an unexplained fire that broke out in his home late in the night of 21 January 2008, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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

      · Congo
      · Press Freedom: News Archives 2009
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists: News Archives 2009
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