UNESCO Director General condemns murder of Congolese journalist Bapuwa MwambaUNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today condemned the murder of Congolese journalist Bapuwa Mwamba, who was killed in Kinshasa (DRC) on 8 July. The Director-General has asked the Congolese authorities to do everything they can to make sure this crime does not go unpunished.
“I condemn the murder of Bapuwa Mwamba,” declared Mr Matsuura. “At a time when the Democratic Republic of the Congo is preparing for historic elections, it is essential to ensure the safety of media professionals because they represent one of the pillars of democracy. I hope that the Congolese authorities will do everything they can to find and punish those responsible for this crime.”
Bapuwa Mwamba, 64, worked for several Kinshasa newspapers, among them the opposition daily Le Phare. He was killed in his home by three armed men during the night of 8 July.
According to Reporters without Borders, this is the second murder of a journalist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the last 8 months. Franck Kangundu (aka Ngyke), journalist from the independent daily La Référence Plus, and his wife were killed outside their home in Kinshasa on 3 November 2005.
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…”