Director-General condemns murder of Montenegrin journalist Dusko JovanovicUNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today condemned the murder of Dusko Jovanovic, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Montenegrin opposition daily Dan, on May 28 and welcomed reports of an investigation into the killing.
“I condemn the killing of Dusko Jovanovic,” Mr Matsuura said. “It is intolerable that journalists and editors are being assassinated for carrying out their professional duties and fostering debate.”
The Director-General recalled the resolution adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 1997, calling for legal action against the perpetrators of such murders and for an end to the impunity of crimes against journalists.
“It is essential for freedom of expression, a cornerstone of democracy enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that the killers of Mr Jovanovic be identified and prosecuted,” the Director-General added, saying, “justice must be done both for its own sake and for the sake of democracy.”
The killing of Mr Jovanovic has been widely condemned by professional organizations, including the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the International Press Institute (IPI) Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and the World Association of Newspapers (WAN).
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…”