Director-General condemns killing of TV cameraman Abdul Qodus in AfghanistanThe Director-General of UNESCO today condemned the suicide bomb attack in Kandahar on 22 July that claimed the lives of television cameraman Abdul Qodus and several other civilians, including a television company driver.
“I condemn the killing of Adul Qodus,” declared the Director-General. “The killing of civilians is completely unacceptable and the targeting of media professionals is particularly reprehensible as it aims to undermine the fundamental human right of freedom of expression and communities’ right to obtain the information they require for the exercise of their democratic rights.”
“I am particularly horrified,” Mr Matsuura added, “by the cynical tactics of the bombers who waited for a crowd to gather on the spot of a first attack before unleashing a second explosion. The use of bloodshed to suppress information and human rights is particularly heinous.”
Mr Qodus, a cameraman for the privately-owned TV station Aryana, and a driver employed by the same company, died after a Taliban suicide bomber caused an explosion shortly after a first suicide bomb attack attack in the same location.
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…”