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Director-General deplores killing of Japanese cameraman and wounding of Thai photographer in Bangkok violence

20-04-2010 (Paris)
Director-General deplores killing of Japanese cameraman and wounding of Thai photographer in Bangkok violence
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, deplored the killing of Japanese journalist Hiroyuki Muramoto, a cameraman for Reuters, and the wounding of freelance photographer Winnai Ditthajorn, who was working for Australia’s ABC News, in Bangkok, Thailand, on 10 April.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, deplored the killing of Japanese journalist Hiroyuki Muramoto, a cameraman for Reuters, and the wounding of freelance photographer Winnai Ditthajorn, who was working for Australia’s ABC News, in Bangkok, Thailand, on 10 April.

“I deplore the killing of Hiroyuki Muramoto and the wounding of Winnai Ditthajorn,” declared Ms Bokova. “They were doing their duty as journalists. Their fate highlights yet again the danger brave journalists confront every day so that freedom of information, a basic human right, can be upheld. I call on the authorities of Thailand to investigate the killing of Mr Muramoto and to make every effort to ensure that journalists can carry out their work in safety.”

Mr Muramoto and Mr Ditthajorn were covering anti-government demonstrations that left more than 20 people dead. Mr Muramoto, 43, who had worked with Reuters’ Tokyo bureau for the past 15 years, was shot in the chest by an unknown assailant and pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Footage on his camera reportedly showed scenes of extreme violence in the streets. Mr Ditthajorn was admitted to hospital with a gunshot wound to his left leg, but his life is not in danger.

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

      · Press Freedom
      · Thailand
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists
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