The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has condemned the murder of Kamlesh Jain in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India, on 31 May.
“I condemn the murder of Kamlesh Jain,” said the Director-General. “Journalists expose wrongdoings and inform debate about issues of importance for society as a whole. It is therefore essential that the authorities bring to justice those who use violence to silence the press.”
Two unknown assailants shot Kamlesh Jain, a reporter for Hindi daily Nai Dunia in his office in the town of Piplia Mandi. He had received death threats in connection with his reporting on illegal trading.
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…”