United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Director-General condemns murder of Bangladeshi journalist Bellal Hossain Dafadar

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the assassination of journalist Bellal Hossain Dafadar who was attacked on 14 September in Kalaroa Upazila, in the southwest of Bangladesh.

“I condemn the assassination of Bella Hossain Dafadar,” declared the Director-General. “I am very distressed by this new attack on a journalist in Bangladesh and urge the authorities to ensure that such crimes do not go unpunished. It is essential that journalists be able to carry out their professional duties and exercise the basic human right of freedom of expression in the interest of democracy and rule of law.”

Bellal Hossain Dafadar, 38, a correspondent of the Khulna-based daily newspaper Janabani, died after he was stabbed by four or five assailants as he was cycling back home from a local bazaar at around 7 p.m.. The attackers left him critically injured and he died later that day in hospital.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a total of nine journalists have been killed in Bangladesh over the past five years.

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 the Organization is requested 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 N°2006-121
Publication Date 27 Sep 2006
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