Director-General denounces killing of Indian journalist Chaitali Santra

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today asked for an investigation into the killing of journalist Chaitali Santra on 26 September in Howrah, West Bengal.

“I condemn the murder of Chaitali Santra and urge the authorities to investigate this crime,” the Director-General said. “Killing and intimidating media workers constitute an unacceptable attack on the basic human right of freedom of expression and on the media’s democratic right to work without fear or hindrance. It is therefore essential that the perpetrators of such crimes be brought to justice.”

Ms Santra was killed by a bomb parcel she opened in her home. Her husband is reported to have been severely injured in the blast.

Ms Santra was the Howrah correspondent of the Delhi-based, Hindi-language weekly Julm se Jang. Members of her family are reported as saying that she often received threats in connection with her reporting.

This killing brings to 11 the number of journalists murdered in India since 2008. They are remembered on the dedicated site UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists.


Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at),  +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…”