The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of Vyacheslav Veremyi, who died in Kiev on 19 February. Ms Bokova urged respect for the right of media workers to report news, even in situations of internal turbulence.
“I strongly condemn the killing of Vyacheslav Veremyi, and I am very concerned about the many journalists who have been injured during events in Kiev,” the Director-General said. “I call on all parties to recognize the specific status of reporters and let them carry out their work in safe conditions, and I appeal to the authorities to ensure that this case is investigated thoroughly and brought swiftly to justice.”
Unknown assailants on 18 Febraury dragged Vyacheslav Veremyi, a correspondent for Ukrainian newspaper Vesti, out of a taxi on his way home from Maidan Square and shot him. The journalist died in hospital the next day.
According to some sources, more than 30 journalists were injured in violent incidents in Ukraine on 18 February.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12
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…”