UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today denounced the murder of cameraman Manuel Murillo Varela, found shot dead on 24 October in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.
“I deplore the murder or Manuel Murillo Varela,” said the Director-General. “Such acts must not go unpunished. I urge the authorities to thoroughly investigate this crime and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Manuel Murillo Varela, 32, worked as an official cameraman for several public figures and, more recently, for TV Globo. According to IFEX, an NGO defending freedom of expression, he had been kidnapped and tortured in 2010 by men searching for some of his video footage. Since then, the authorities had provided him with special protection.
Manuel Murillo Varela is the 8th Honduran journalist whose death has been condemned by UNESCO since 2012. He is remembered on the dedicated web page page UNESCO Condemns Killing of Journalists.
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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.” To realize this 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…”