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UNESCO Director-General condemns deadly attack against journalists in Honduras

05-03-2010 (Paris)
UNESCO Director-General condemns deadly attack against journalists in Honduras
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today condemned the deadly attack on 1 March against Honduran journalists Joseph Hernandez Ochoa and Karol Cabrera, in which Mr Ochoa was killed and Ms Cabrera seriously injured.
“The attack that took Mr Ochoa’s life and left Ms Cabrera seriously injured is an attack against all of the people of Honduras that must not go unpunished,” Ms Bokova said. “It is an attack against their basic right of freedom of expression, an attempt to silence the open debate that underpins democratic society. I trust the Honduran authorities will do their utmost to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Mr Ochoa was the host of the “Encuentros” programme broadcast of Canal 51 television. Ms Cabrera was involved in youth education programmes for the state-owned Canal 8 television station. She also worked for Radio Cadena Voces.

According to the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) the two journalists were shot down on their way to Cabrera’s home in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Police sources and the Honduran Security Secretariat say that Cabrera was the gunmen’s target. She had been under police protection following threats against her life. The police officer guarding her was at her home, where she had asked for protective services to be provided. In December 2009, her teenage daughter was killed in the same street.

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

      · Honduras
      · Press Freedom
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists
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