11.09.2013 - UNESCOPRESS

Director-General condemns killing of journalists Rajesh Verma and Israr in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova today denounced the killing of news cameraman Rajesh Verma and a freelance photographer, identified as Israr, in the town of Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, in the north of India on 7 September.

“I am deeply concerned by the deaths of Rajesh Verma and Israr,” the Director-General said. “I urge the authorities to investigate the circumstances of these killings to identify those who incited the violence. The safety of journalists is a concern of the highest importance,” said Ms Bokova.

            Rajesh Verma, a news cameraman for the national IBN7 channel and a freelance photographer only identified as Israr, were killed by a crowd leaving a meeting the two men had been assigned to cover.

            Verma and Israr are 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…”


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