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Nurturing the democratic debate.  
Director-General condemns murder of Philippines radio broadcaster Ely Binoya

23-06-2004 4:30 am UNESCO Director-General Ko´chiro Matsuura today condemned the murder of radio manager and broadcaster Ely Binoya in General Santos City, in the southern Philippines on June 17.

“I condemn the assassination of Mr Binoya,” the Director-General said. “Resorting to the gun to silence the media is an attack on democracy which hinges on public debate and on the diversity of sources for news and analyses.”

“I am very concerned about this murder,” Mr Matsuura added, “and about the large number of journalists killed in the Philippines in recent years. I am heartened, however, by the Philippines authorities’ commitment to investigate these murders and hope that their success will improve the safety of media professionals determined to exercise their professional duty.”

Radio Natin broadcaster and manager Ely Binoya was shot dead by two gunmen on his way home from the station He was known as a hard-hitting commentator who often criticized politicians. Mr Binoya is the second broadcaster killed in the Philippines this year. Ruel Endrinal, of DZRC radio station in Legazpi, City, Albay Province, was gunned down on 11 February.

According to the South East Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) 44 journalists have been murdered in the Philippines since 1986, when democracy was re-established in the country and dozens have been injured since then. Last year was the worst year for Philippine media since the end of martial law with seven journalists killed, according to the organization. Most of them were killed after reporting on corruption.

On June 18, 28 organizations attending the General Meeting of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange network, IFEX – which is supported by UNESCO - protested against the continuing attacks on journalists in the Philippines.*

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…”

* see: http://www.ifex.org/

Source Press Release N░2004 - 54

 ID: 21274 | guest (Read) Updated: 29-07-2004 9:47 am | © 2003 - UNESCO - Contact