27.07.2010 -

Director-General of UNESCO deplores death of Indian journalist Vijay Pratap Singh

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the death of Vijay Pratap Singh, senior reporter for the Indian Express, who succumbed on 20 July to injuries sustained in a bomb attack on a local politician in Allahabad city, Northern India, on 12 July.

"I deplore the death of Vijay Pratap Singh who lost his life carrying out his duties as a media professional," said Ms Bokova. "Freedom of expression, a fundamental human right essential to a democratic society, can only exist if journalists can do their work in safety. I call on the Indian authorities to do everything in their power to bring the culprits of this attack to justice, and to ensure there is no impunity."


Vijay Pratap Singh, 38, was visiting a Cabinet Minister of Uttar Pradesh state on 12 July. He had just stepped out of the Minister's residence, in the Minister's company, when a bomb was detonated, wounding seven people including Vijay Pratap and the Uttar Pradesh Institutional Finance Minister Nand Gopal Nandi. The reporter died nine days later in hospital.

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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