UNESCO Director-General condemns assassination of broadcasters in Nicaragua and the PhilippinesUNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today condemned the killing of two radio broadcasters: Ruel Endrinal in Legaspi City in the Philippines on February 11, and Carlos Guadamuz in Managua, Nicaragua, on February 10.
“I condemn the shooting of Ruel Endrinal and of Carlos Guadamuz,” Mr Matsuura said, “and I hope that the authorities’ efforts to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes will be fruitful.”
“It is essential that such crimes be punished, in keeping with the resolution to that effect, which was unanimously adopted by UNESCO’s Member States in 1997,” the Director-General said. “Attacking journalists for the work they do and for the opinions they express constitutes an intolerable undermining of freedom of expression, one of the pillars of democracy,” he added.
“I am particularly appalled by the heavy tribute paid by media professionals in the Philippines,” Mr Matsuura said, “where I note a sharp increase in the number of journalists killed over the past year, despite the efforts of the authorities to fight these crimes.”
“I am confident that the Nicaraguan authorities will do all that is possible in their reaction to the murder of Carlos Guadamuz,” the Director-General concluded, “to ensure that journalists are able to continue exercising their profession in conditions of safety, as has been the case in recent years in the country.”
According to professional organizations, Mr Endrinal’s murder brings to 44 the number of journalists killed in the Philippines since democracy was restored in the country, in 1986. Seven journalists are reported to have been killed in the Philippines in 2003, the worst year for the profession in that country since 1986.