UNESCO Director-General deplores killing of journalist Jean Hélène in Côte d’IvoireUNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today deplored the killing of Radio France Internationale (RFI) reporter Jean Hélène in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire yesterday.
“The killing of Jean Hélène, known and respected for his love of Africa, is a tragedy,” Mr Matsuura said, adding: “He appears to have been murdered while waiting to carry out interviews. Mr Hélène died doing his job to inform the public, work that is central to democracy and good governance.”
“The fact that the person who shot Mr Hélène in cold blood was wearing a uniform is cause for particular concern, bearing in mind law enforcement officers’ duty to ensure public safety. It is heartening to see that the killer has been arrested and I trust that he will be brought to justice. The importance of not letting the assassination of journalists go unpunished cannot be overstated, as recognized by UNESCO’s General Conference, which in 1997 adopted a Resolution calling for an end to impunity for crimes against journalists,” Mr Matsuura said.
Mr Hélène is the second journalist reported to have been killed in the exercise of his profession in Côte d’Ivoire. Kloueu Gonzreu, a correspondent for the Agence ivoirienne de presse (AIP) news agency, was found dead in the western region of Toulépleu in March.