United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Director-General condemns murder of Pakistani journalist Hayatullah Khan

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura today condemned the murder of Pakistani journalist Hayatullah Khan and urged the authorities to pursue their efforts to bring his murderers to justice.

“I condemn the murder of Mr Khan,” the Director-General declared. “Mr Khan’s murder deprives the Pakistan and the world of a journalist who showed integrity and courage in his commitment to the profession. I trust that the authorities’ efforts to elucidate the circumstances of Mr Khan’s abduction and murder will bear fruit and that they will be able to bring to justice the culprits of this heinous crime against the basic human right of freedom of expression.”

Mr Khan, a photographer with Urdu-language daily Ausaf and the European Pressphoto Agency, was kidnapped from Mir Ali in North Waziristan on December 5. His body was found handcuffed and shot in the back of the head in the same area on June 16.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Mr Khan had received numerous threats because of his reporting.


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.2006-65
Publication Date 22 Jun 2006
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