The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, today called for an investigation into the killing of journalist Naveen Gupta in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on 30 November.
“I condemn the killing of Naveen Gupta,” said the Director-General. “I urge the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this crime and bring its perpetrators to justice. The protection of journalists and the prevention and prosecution of crimes against them, are central to the protection of fundamental human rights.”
Naveen Gupta, a reporter for the Hindustan newspaper, was shot by unidentified assailants on motorbikes near a market in the town of Bilhaur in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
In the spirit of Article 1 of the Constitution of UNESCO, the Director-General of the Organization issues statements on violations of press freedoms, condemning the killing of media workers, in line with its action to take forward the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
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…”