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Communication and Information Sector's news service

Director-General condemns murder of Indian journalist Vikas Ranjan

12-12-2008 (Paris)
Director-General condemns murder of Indian journalist Vikas Ranjan
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, condemned the killing of journalist Vikas Ranjan in the northeastern state of Bihar on 26 November.
“I condemn the assassination of Vikas Ranjan,” said the Director-General, “Mr Ranjan has paid with his life for the fundamental human right to freedom of expression, and for our right to be informed. Like so many journalists, he has shown courage and determination beyond the call of duty. I trust that the relevant authorities will spare no effort to bring to justice those responsible for the killing of Mr Ranjan, and help stem the alarming recent increase in attacks on journalists in north-eastern India.”

Vikas Ranjan, 32, was shot by three gunmen outside his office in Rosera in the Samastipur district, where he worked as a correspondent for the Hindi-language daily newspaper Hindustan. According to Reporters without Borders, Mr Ranjan had been investigating local drug trafficking in the month prior to his death.

The press freedom organization adds that this killing brings to three the number of journalists murdered in India in recent weeks.

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…”
Related themes/countries

      · India
      · Press Freedom: News Archives 2008
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists: News Archives 2008
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