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Director-General deplores the killing of Honduran journalist Gabriel Fino Noriega and calls for lifting of restrictions on press freedom

15-07-2009 (Paris)
Director-General deplores the killing of Honduran journalist Gabriel Fino Noriega and calls for lifting of restrictions on press freedom
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today deplored the killing of radio reporter Gabriel Fino Noriega in San Juan Pueblo in Honduras. Also, referring to the deterioration of press freedom in the country, the Director-General called for the lifting of restrictions imposed on the media over the recent weeks.
“I deplore the killing of Gabriel Fino Noriega,” said the Director-General. “Using violence to silence journalists constitutes an intolerable attack on the fundamental human right of freedom of expression and on the whole of society’s ability to enjoy human rights.”

Gabriel Fino Noriega, 42, was shot on 3 July by an unidentified gunman as he left Radio Estelar, a local station on which he presented a daily news programme. He was also the local correspondent of the national radio station Radio América. His death appears to be unrelated to recent political events in Honduras.

Turning to the deteriorating media situation, the Director-General said: “I am deeply concerned about reports of restrictions on the media and harassment of journalists in Honduras. In situations of crisis it is especially important to ensure that the media can report freely and without intimidation.”

Human rights and press freedom organizations have reported severe restrictions on news media – blocking of cable television transmissions and Internet access and the arrest of, and attacks on, journalists - since the ousting of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on 28 June.

NESCO 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

      · Honduras
      · Press Freedom
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists: News Archives 2009
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Contact information

  • UNESCO Press Release No.2009-85

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