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Director-General urges investigation into murder of journalist Rahmatullah Nikzad in Afghanistan


UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has condemned the killing of journalist Rahmatullah Nikzad in the Afghan city of Ghazni on 21 December.

“I condemn the murder of Rahmatullah Nikzad” said the Director-General. “I urge the authorities to spare no effort in investigating this crime and bringing those responsible for it to trial. This is essential if the authorities want to deter future attacks on the media. Free and independent journalism is the oxygen of democracy”

Unidentified gunmen shot Nikzad, a freelance contributor to Al Jazeera and the Associated Press (AP) of long standing, as he was leaving his home to go to a local mosque. The journalist is reported to have received threats directly linked to his work.

UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and a range of actions, notably in the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

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