UNESCO deplores murder of two Croatian media executives

Ivo Pukanic, who co-founded the weekly newspaper Nacional and owned the NCL Media Group, and Niko Franjic, who was marketing director of the weekly, died after the explosion on 23 October.The bomb was said to have been placed under Mr. Pukanic’s car and was detonated with a remote control device, according to a statement issued by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).“Such crimes against the press constitute an attack on the basic human right of freedom of expression and are doubly reprehensible for their adverse effect on society as a whole,” said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura.“I understand that the Croatian authorities have undertaken to work on this case, which is a heartening development, and trust they will be able to end the alarming acts of violence against the media in the country.”UNESCO said Mr. Pukanic, the winner of several Croatian journalism prizes for his investigative reporting, was reported to have been the object of repeated threats in recent years. Last year his media group also opened a journalism school. 30 October 2008The United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the killing of the owner and another senior executive of a Croatian political weekly in a car bombing in the country’s capital, Zagreb, last week.

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