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Murder Of Filipino Journo Sparks Outrage At UNESCO

Murder of Filipino journalist sparks outrage from head of UN agency

7 July 2008 - The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has deplored the recent murder of Filipino radio host and newspaper correspondent Robert Sison, and called on authorities to step up protection for media professionals in the country.

UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura said the targeting of professional journalists represents "an intolerable violation of the basic human right of freedom of expression."

He called on the Government of the Philippines to fully investigate the incident and to increase protection for journalists.

Mr. Sison, 60, was the host of a local radio programme and correspondent for the weekly newspaper "Regional Bulletin," which has published articles critical of local officials.

He was gunned down by unidentified assailants while driving home on 30 June in Sariaya town, Quezon province, some 97 kilometres from the capital, Manila. His two daughters, both also journalists, were in the car with him. Liwayway, 30, was shot in the arm, and Almira, 24, escaped injury.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Mr. Sison is the second media professional to be killed this year in the Philippines.

ENDS

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