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Communication and Information Sector's news service

Director-General condemns the killing of Japanese photo journalist Kenji Nagai in Myanmar

01-10-2007 (Paris)
Director-General condemns the killing of Japanese photo journalist Kenji Nagai in Myanmar
Stop killing journalists
© Derstandard
The Director-General of UNESCO Koïchiro Matsuura condemned the killing of Japanese photo journalist Kenji Nagai in Rangoon and echoed the call by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “to commit to a path of peaceful and inclusive national reconciliation.”
“I fully support the decision of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to send his Special Envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, to Myanmar, I join my voice to urge Myanmar to exercise utmost restraint and seek a political solution. It is urgent for all parties concerned in the country to resume their efforts at national reconciliation, and work towards a peaceful transition to democracy,” Mr Matsuura said.

Decrying the use of violence against journalists and protesters in Myanmar, Mr Matsuura added: “I condemn the killing of Kenji Nagai and call on the authorities in Myanmar to respect the professional work of reporters regardless of their country of origin. Freedom of expression and Press freedom are basic human rights and allowing the media to express different views can only help achieve the national reconciliation we all wish for Myanmar.”

Kenji Nagai, 50, was covering a demonstration in Rangoon for Japanese video agency APF on 27 September when he was shot dead.

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…”
Related themes/countries

      · Japan
      · Myanmar
      · Freedom of Expression: News Archives 2007
      · Press Freedom: News Archives 2007
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists: News Archives 2007
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