Director-General Condemns Killing of Journalist José Cândido Amorim PintoThe Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder of Cândido Amorim Pinto, a radio show host on Rádio Comunitária Alterniva FM in Carpina, town in Pernambuco (Brazil) where he was shot to death on July 1.
“I condemn the murder of Cândido Amorim Pinto,” Mr Matsuura said. “An attack on a radio journalist is also an attack on freedom of expression and democracy. As stressed by the 1997 resolution signed by UNESCO Member States , any physical violence against media professionals is “a crime against society, since this curtails freedom of expression and, as a consequence, the other rights and freedoms set forth in international human rights instruments.”
"I am sure that Brazilian authorities will do their utmost to identify the culprits of this crime and bring them to justice, as they have done recently in other cases involving the murder of journalists in the country,” Mr Matsuura went on to say.
Cândido Amorim Pinto was the host of one of the most popular programmes on Rádio Comunitária Alterniva FM and also served as a city councillor. He was known for his outspoken criticism of nepotism and corruption, both on the air and in the city council, and had survived an earlier attempt on his life last May. He had recently decided to do without the bodyguards that had been protecting him since the first attack. Four men opened fire on him when he arrived at the radio station on the morning of July 1.
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…”