Building peace in the minds of men and women

Director-General urges investigation into the murder of Indian journalist Rakesh Sharma

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova today deplored the killing of reporter Rakesh Sharma in the state of Uttar Pradesh, in northern India, on 23 August and called for an investigation into the crime.

“I condemn the killing of Rakesh Sharma,” the Director-General said. “It is important that the authorities investigate this murder and bring its culprits to justice. Freedom of expression is a cherished human right and needs to be protected.”

Rakesh Sharma, 50, was a reporter for Hindi-language daily Dainik Aaj (Today) where he had published articles about criminal operations in Uttar Pradesh. He was fatally injured by unidentified gunmen in the town of Bakewar.

The journalist is remembered on the dedicated web page listing all of UNESCO’s condemnations of attacks on media professionals.


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…”