12 March 2007
Ambeyi Ligabo, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, issued the following statement today:
“The kidnapping of Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo and his aides in AFGHANISTANhighlights the importance of intensifying efforts to ensure the safety of journalists, especially in conflict areas. Mr. Mastrogiacomo, who works for the daily “La Repubblica”, is a distinguished journalist known for his reports from different areas torn by fighting, in which he has chronicled the tragedy of war, its root causes and dire consequences with impartiality, compassion and a great sense of professional responsibility.
The role of the media in exposing abuses of human rights and disregard for the rule of law is beyond question. Attacks on journalists prevent them from fulfilling that function. They also undermine the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression, and of all the rights that flow from it, of whole societies.
I call for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Mastrogiacomo and his aides, as well as the release of all media professionals unlawfully detained around the world”.
For use of the information media; not an official record