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UNESCO condemns murder of 2 journalists in Ecuador

UNESCO condemns murder of two journalists in Ecuador

Stressing once again that freedom of the press is essential for democracy and rule of law, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today deplored the murder of two journalists in Ecuador.

“Such crimes are not only an offence against individuals, but an attack on society as a whole,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a statement. “I am appalled by the repetition of two such heinous crimes in 24 hours, and I trust that the authorities will spare no effort in bringing the culprits to justice.”

José Luis León Desiderio, a presenter on Radio Minutera, was shot dead near his home in Guayaquil, southwestern Ecuador, on the night of 13 to 14 February. According to Reporters Without Borders, he exposed the scale of criminality in Guayaquil in his radio programme.

Freelance photographer Saúl Suárez Sandoval, who contributed to the dailies La Hora Durandeña and La Prensa de Durán, was shot dead on 14 February 2006 in Durán, a suburb of Guayaquil.

Mr. Matsuura’s statement was the latest in a long series of condemnations he has issued recently over attacks on journalists around the world. UNESCO’s mandate includes the defence of freedom of expression and press freedom.

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