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Philippines: Yet one more journalist murdered

UNESCO condemns yet one more murder of journalist in Philippines

Just a day after deploring an attack on a Christian radio station in Kenya, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today again exerted its role as defender of freedom of the press, condemning the murder of a Philippines photographer.

“When violence poses a permanent threat for journalists, it poses a threat to the whole of society,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a statement. “When crimes against journalists remain unpunished, the future of a country is endangered and organized crime or corruption become the main beneficiaries of this impunity.”

Albert Orsolino was shot and killed by in his car in Calooncan City by two unknown assailants on 16 May and Mr. Matsuura reiterated his concern over the particularly violent conditions under which journalists work in the Philippines.

According to the International Federation of Journalists, Mr. Orsolino is the fourth journalist killed in the Philippines in 2006 and the 78th since the restoration of democracy in 1986. This places the country in second position, after Iraq, on the list of most dangerous countries for journalists to work in.

“The heavy price paid by journalists in the Philippines is a cause for concern to all who defend press freedom. Everything must be done to guarantee better protection for information professionals in the Philippines,” Mr. Matsuura said.

Press freedom and freedom of expression are main planks in UNESCO’s mandate and Mr. Matsuura has issued frequent condemnations of the murder of journalists around the world in recent years.

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