Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, today urged an investigation into the killing of broadcast journalist Shantanu Bhowmick, who died during violent political clashes outside Agartala, capital of the northeastern state of Tripura, on 20 September.
“I condemn the killing of Shantanu Bhowmick,” said the Director-General. “I trust the authorities will conduct an investigation into this killing and bring its perpetrators to justice. It is essential that journalists be able to keep us informed of events without fearing for their lives.”
Shantanu Bhowmick, a reporter for cable television channel Dinraat, was attacked while covering clashes between supporters of rival political factions. Police found the journalist after the violence subsided and took him to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
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
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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…”