UN agency head condemns murder of Kenyan journalist

Stop killing journalists. Photo: UNESCO

6 February 2009 – The chief of the United Nations agency that champions press freedom today condemned the murder of a Kenyan journalist who had investigated police corruption and whose beheaded body was found in a forest on 29 January.

The remains of Francis Nyaruri, who wrote articles on police corruption for the independent Weekly Citizen under the name of Mong'are Mokua, were found in western Kenya two weeks after the journalist’s disappearance, the UN Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said.

“I condemn the murder of Francis Nyaruri,” said Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO’s Director-General. “I trust that this crime will be investigated and that its culprits will be brought to trial, not just for the sake of Francis Nyaruri but the sake of democracy and good governance.

“Journalists like him carry out important, albeit controversial, work that contributes to debate and democracy,” Mr. Matsuura added.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that Mr. Nyaruri, the second journalist to be killed in Kenya in the past year, had told colleagues that he had received threats before he went missing.


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