The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the killing of Nepali journalist Yadav Poudel and called for light to be shed on this crime.
“I condemn the killing of Yadav Poudel,” the Director-General said. “I welcome reports of progress in the investigation into this tragic event. It is essential that the motives for the crime against Yadav Poudel be unveiled, so that journalists can continue exercising their basic human right to freedom of expression and their professional duties as journalists without fearing reprisals for their work.”
The body of Yadav Poudel, 39, was found in the early hours of 4 April near the Bus Park at Birtamod and local press reports say that police arrested several suspects in connection with the killing.
The journalist was a correspondent for Avenues TV and for the Rajdhanidaily newspaper. He also worked as the executive editor of New Mechi Times, a local daily published in Birtamod.
There are contrasting reports about the origins of this tragic event, including some which link his death to his investigation into illegal activities.
Six journalists and media workers, including Yadav Poudel, have been killed in Nepal since 2008. They are list on the dedicated webpage, UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists.
In 2011, UNESCO supported the establishment of the community radio station, Radio Nari Aawaj (women's voice radio) for rural women from the Jumla district. It also trained 30 female staffers with the aim of enabling them to manage the operation. In 2010, UNESCO supported the training of 20 Nepali journalists in advanced media skills and theory through distance learning with open source software.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, +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…”