UNESCO chief condemns murder of Bangladeshi journalist

Voicing grave concern over an increase in attacks on journalists in Bangladesh, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the recent assassination of Golam Mahfuz, editor of a daily newspaper in that country.“The killing of Mr. Mahfuz is a heinous attack on democracy and rule of law,” said Koïchiro Matsuura Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “It is my sincere hope that the authorities will be able to elucidate this murder and bring its perpetrators to justice, an indispensable condition to stop attacks on freedom of expression, which is a basic human right, he added.”Mr. Mahfuz, editor of the Comilla Muktakantha, was stabbed to death on 31 May in his home east of the capital Dhaka. He is the fifth journalist killed in Bangladesh over the past year, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). A recent report by the IFJ says that 400 reporters received death threats and 320 were tortured in the country over the past 12 months.“Reports of increasing violence and intimidation against journalists in Bangladesh are a cause of grave concern as to the profession’s ability to continue carrying out its important work adequately under such conditions,” Mr. Matsuura said.

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