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Director-General condemns the murder of journalist Patient Chebeya Bankome in the Democratic Republic of Congo

08-04-2010 (Paris)
Director-General condemns the murder of journalist Patient Chebeya Bankome in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Patient Chebeya Bankome
© JED
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of freelance TV journalist Patient Chebeya Bankome in the city of Beni in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo on 5 April.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of freelance TV journalist Patient Chebeya Bankome in the city of Beni in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo on 5 April.

“I condemn the murder of Patient Chebeya Bankome,” the Director-General of UNESCO declared. “Attacks on journalists and media workers are unacceptable attacks on each and every member of society. Freedom of expression is a basic human right. Its corollary, press freedom, is essential for informed debate and decision making by citizens and political leaders alike. I trust that efforts to bring the culprits to justice will bear fruit and prevent further violence against the media,” Ms Bokova concluded.

Patient Chebeya Bankome, known as Montigomo, was shot dead by three men in military uniform at his home in Beni. The 35-year-old reporter and freelance cameraman worked for several television broadcasters in North Kivu province.

He is the sixth journalist to be killed in the east of the DRC since 2005, according to the Congolese non-governmental organization Journaliste en Danger, which named the other five as Pascal Kabungulu, Serge Maheshe, Patrick Kikuku, Didace Namujimbo and Bruno Koko Chirambiza. Their deaths remained unpunished, according to the Kinshasa-based press freedom organization.

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

      · Democratic Republic of the Congo
      · Press Freedom
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists
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