UNESCO chief praises integrity and courage of murdered Pakistani journalist

Raising his voice once again in defence of freedom of the press, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the murder of a Pakistani journalist as “heinous crime” against a basic human right. Hayatullah Khan, a photographer with the Urdu-language daily Ausaf and the European Pressphoto Agency, was kidnapped from Mir Ali in North Waziristan on 5 December. His body was found handcuffed and shot in the back of the head in the same area on Friday. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Mr. Khan had received numerous threats because of his reporting. “Mr Khan’s murder deprives Pakistan and the world of a journalist who showed integrity and courage in his commitment to the profession,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a statement. “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.” UNESCO has a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom, and Mr. Matsuura has issued frequent condemnations of the murder of journalists around the world. read more