The Director-General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, has called on South Sudan authorities to investigate the murder of journalist Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awol, and bring his killers to justice.
The journalist better known by his pen name of Isaiah Abraham, a columnist, was shot dead in his house in Juba on 5 December, 2012.
A statement by UNESCO, copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday quoted the Director General as: “I condemn the assassination of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awol, and call on the South Sudan authorities to respect the fundamental right of freedom of expression, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“Bringing the murderers of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awol to justice is an essential step in the young country’s construction as a lawful democracy”.
The statement said Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awol is reported to have received death threats in relation to his writing, published by a number of news outlets, including the Paris-based Sudan Tribune, Gurtong and Sudanese Online.
It said: “He was a former staff member of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan during the 1990s”.
UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom.
Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms, which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.”
The organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…” GNA