The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today urged an investigation into the death of freelance journalist Sandeep Kothari who was killed in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
“I condemn the killing of Sandeep Kothari,” the Director-General said. “I call on the authorities to investigate this crime and bring its perpetrators to trial. This is essential for journalists to be able to go on informing public debate for the benefit of Indian society as a whole.”
The body of Mr Kothari was found near the city of Nagpur on 21 June. He had been abducted two days earlier.
Mr Kothari, 40, worked for several daily newspapers in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.
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…”