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UN Probe Into 'Monstrous' Philippines Attack

Top UN Official Urges Probe Into 'Monstrous' Philippines Attack

New York, Nov 27 2009 3:10PM The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today urged the Government of the Philippines to investigate the 23 November attack on a convoy in the province of Minguindanao that left over 55 people, including at least 27 journalists, dead.

"This monstrous crime must not go unpunished," said Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

"I condemn this outrage and urge the Government of the Philippines to act swiftly, using all the resources at its disposal to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"The barbaric killings of the people in the convoy -- journalists and citizens alike -- were clearly an attack against democracy and democratic processes. Furthermore, the killing of journalists violates the rights of the Philippin e people to be freely and fairly informed of political developments," she added.

The journalists were reportedly travelling with politicians and political supporters to file nomination papers for a gubernatorial candidate in Maguindanao province in the southern Philippines, when the convoy was ambushed, UNESCO stated in a news release.

The agency said last week's deaths bring to 34 the number of journalists killed in the country this year.

ENDS

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