UNESCO condemns murder of Congolese journalist Maheshe

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura Tuesday condemned the murder of radio journalist Serge Maheshe, who was shot dead in Bukavu in DR Congo on 13 June, and urged Congolese authorities to ensure that the crime does not go unpunished.
"I condemn the murder of Serge Maheshe," a UNESCO press release quoted Matsuura as saying.
"A famous voice in the DRC has been silenced.
In Ituri, Goma, Kisangani, Kinshasa and Bukavu, Serge Maheshe covered the news from the conflict zone and often in tense situations.
He was a journalist known for his rigour who used information to serve peace and the rule of law and to seek an end to instability.
For his courage and his commitment to democracy, he paid with his life.
It is essential that media professionals, the true pillars of democracy, are protected and that the crimes committed against them do not go unpunished.
I hope the Congolese authorities will do everything they can to find and punish those responsible for this murder," Matsuura stressed.
Serge Maheshe, aged 31, worked since 2002 for Radio Okapi, the most popular radio station in DR Congo.
With a reputation for integrity and professionalism, Maheshe was one of the main media personalities in the Bukavu region.
Radio Okapi is a joint project with the Swiss Hirondelle Foundation and the UN Mission in DR Congo (MONUC).
He was killed on the night of 13 June as he was leaving the house of a friend in Bukavu.
Unknown attackers armed with Kalashnikovs were waiting for him near his car, which was marked with the United Nations insignia, and established his identity before killing him in cold blood.
Maheshe was the third Congolese journalist to be murdered since November 2005.
Bapuwa Mwamba, from daily newspaper Le Phare, was killed at his home by three armed men in July 2006.
Franck Kangundu, a journalist for La Référence Plus, was killed along with his wife in November 2005.

19 june 2007 13:13:00




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