Last Updated: Monday, 28 July 2014, 16:37 GMT

UNESCO chief deplores deaths of journalists in Republic of Congo, Madagascar

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 16 February 2009
Cite as UN News Service, UNESCO chief deplores deaths of journalists in Republic of Congo, Madagascar, 16 February 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49aff798c.html [accessed 29 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Stressing the importance of freedom of expression, the head of the United Nations agency tasked with upholding press freedom today condemned the deaths of journalists in the Republic of the Congo and in Madagascar.

Bruno Ossébi, a columnist for the online newspaper Mwinda who was known for writing about alleged high-level corruption, died in a military hospital in Brazzaville on 2 February.

The 43-year-old journalist was reportedly recovering from injuries from a suspicious fire that broke out in his home in late January, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of the UN Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), called on authorities to "spare no effort" in investigating the tragedy.

"It is important to remember that the work of journalists is essential not only if we are to uphold the basic human right of freedom of expression but for democracy and good governance, issues that concern societies everywhere," he said.

The Director-General also condemned the killing of a Malagasy reporter for Radio et Télévision Analamanga (RTA), who was shot while covering an anti-government demonstration outside the presidential palace in Antananarivo on 7 February.

Ando Ratovonirina, 25, "died in the line of duty, while reporting on events that are important for the whole of Malagasy society," Mr. Matsuura said, urging authorities to ensure the safety of media professionals, even in times of unrest.

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