10.08.2010 -

UNESCO Director-General condemns murder of community radio chairman in Nepal

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, condemned the murder of Devi Prasad Dhital, the chairman of the community radio station Tulsipur FM, on 22 July in Nepal's western district of Dang.

"I condemn the murder of Devi Prasad Dhital," declared Ms Bokova. "Acts of violence against journalists are attacks on freedom of expression, a fundamental human right. They cannot be tolerated in a democratic society. I count on the Nepalese authorities to investigate thoroughly and bring the perpetrators to justice."


Devi Prasad Dhital, known as Hemraj, was shot in the chest while riding his motorcycle in Urahari, about 12 kilometers from Tulsipur. His assailants fled. Rushed to hospital, he succumbed to his injuries later that night.


According to the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Dhital, 45, was the third media owner to be killed this year. The motive for his murder is not yet known.

UNESCO is the only 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 purpose the Organization is required 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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