Director-General condemns murder of Guyanese journalist Ronald WaddellThe Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura today condemned the murder of television journalist Ronald Waddell in Guyana and called for a full investigation into the crime.
“I condemn the murder of Ronald Waddel,” the Director-General declared. “This assassination is an attack against democracy, which cannot function properly without respect for the basic human right of freedom of expression and its corollary: freedom of the press. I am confident of the determination of the Guyanese authorities to investigate this crime,” Mr Matsuura added, “and bring those who perpetrated it to justice.”
Mr Waddell was shot outside his home in the suburbs of Georgetown on 30 January 2006. An active member of the opposition People’s National Congress (PNC), he often criticized the government on the talk show he had been hosting since 2001 on HBTV Channel 9.
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…”