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Nurturing the democratic debate.  
Director-General condemns murder of Dominican journalist, Juan Andujar

23-09-2004 10:45 am UNESCO Director-General, Koďchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder in Azua (Dominican Republic) on September 14 of Juan Andújar, a correspondent with the Santo-Domingo-based daily Listín Diario. The journalist was gunned down just after he had completed a radio broadcast on the crime wave that has shaken the town of Azua, in the south of the country.

“By taking a stand against the gangs waging terror, Juan Andújar was carrying out his duty as a journalist and a citizen. His courageous act cost him his life. I condemn this heinous crime that must not go unpunished. Juan Andújar breached the silence, and we in turn must speak out. His killers must not benefit from our silence. A journalist did not want criminal acts to go unpunished and we, must not allow the worst of crimes – the murder of this journalist – to go unpunished. The resolution adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 1997clearly demands an end to impunity for crimes against journalists, and everything possible must be done to bring the killers of Juan Andújar to justice,” declared Mr Matsuura.

Andújar, 49, was also the host of a weekly news programme on Radio Azua and a professor at the Technology University of Azua.

According to local press reports, another journalist, Jorge Luis Sención, who witnessed the murder and tried to help Andújar, was also attacked by the same gang later the same morning. He was wounded in the arm, which had to be amputated. Juan Andújar and other journalists from Azua had previously received death threats and many have requested police protection.

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…”

Source Press Release No 2004 - 88

 ID: 22843 | guest (Read) Updated: 23-09-2004 9:10 am | © 2003 - UNESCO - Contact