In the wake of the Quetta bombings in Pakistan last Friday, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today expressed her condolences to the people of Pakistan and urged the national authorities to do their utmost to bring those responsible to justice. According to media reports, more than 95 people were killed in a series of bombings, including three journalists. Another three media workers remain in a critical condition.
“The bomb attacks in Quetta last Friday, which targeted civilians as well as rescue services and media, were particularly shocking, targeting ,” the Director-General said.
“I send my heartfelt condolences to the people of Pakistan who are mourning their dead,” Ms Bokova continued. “These attacks violate democratic values and human rights and are an affront to all of us.I urge the Government of Pakistan to do everything within its power to bring those responsible to justice,”
According to Reporters Without Borders, three journalists were killed in the second of several bombings that occurred on Friday, as they rushed to the site of the first blast to report on the incident. Imran Shaikh, a news cameraman for Samaa TV, and Mohammad Iqbal, a photographer with the news agency News Network International (NNI) were killed instantly, while Saif-ur-Rehman, a Samaa News reporter, died of his injuries later in hospital.
They are remembered on UNESCO’s dedicated page UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists alongside the 13 journalists and media workers murdered in Pakistan since the start of 2012.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12
UNESCO is the 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…”