United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Director-General condemns the murder of magazine editor Elmar Huseinov in Azerbaijan

UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today condemned the killing in Baku (Azerbaijan) of Elmar Huseinov, founder and editor of the Monitor magazine

“I condemn the murder of Elmar Huseinov,” the Director-General declared. “Assassination is not an acceptable political instrument. The right of journalists and editors to voice their views, whether we agree with them or not, must be respected. A free and independent press is not a luxury, it is an essential component of democracy and an indispensable condition for informed debate within any society that aims to be free and respect the rule of law.”

Mr Huseinov, 37, who founded the Monitor magazine in 1996, was killed by gunshot on March 2. According to international freedom of expression organizations, Mr Huseinov had long been the subject of harassment and pressure. One such organization, Article 19, said it was “particularly concerned with the increasing climate of intolerance against the media.”


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 purpose the Organization is required 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.2005-27
Generic Field
Publication Date 07 Mar 2005
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