UNESCO chief calls for investigation into death of Colombian journalist

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

14 December 2012 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today called for an investigation into the death of a Colombian journalist who died of injuries sustained while in custody.

“I am concerned about the death of Guillermo Quiroz Delgado and call for an investigation into the incident,” the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, said in a news release.

“It is important that journalists be allowed to exercise their basic human right to freedom of expression if they are to fulfil their professional mission and nurture informed public debate,” she added. “This means that acts of violence against them must be investigated and brought to justice.”

The 31-year-old Mr. Quiroz Delgado was a part-time news reporter for the cable TV news programme Notisabanas and a contributor to the El Meridiano newspaper. According to UNESCO, he was arrested while covering a demonstration in the town of San Pedro, and was later transferred to an intensive care unit where he was pronounced dead on 27 November.

Mr. Quiroz Delgado is the second Colombian to be included this year on UNESCO’s dedicated webpage for journalists killed in the line of duty.


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