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UNESCO Director-General condemns assassination of Nepalese media owner Arun Singhaniya

05-03-2010 (Paris)
UNESCO Director-General condemns assassination of Nepalese media owner Arun Singhaniya
UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, condemned the murder of Nepalese media owner Arun Singhaniya, killed on 1 March in the south-eastern city of Janakpur. Recalling that this is the second such murder in three weeks, Ms Bokova also reiterated her concerns over the continuing threats facing journalists in Nepal.
“I condemn the murder of Arun Singhaniya, who was fulfilling an important role in the development of a dynamic information service,” the Director-General said. Ms Bokova stressed that in Nepal, as elsewhere in the world, a pluralistic media served as a vital pillar for freedom of expression, and voiced her conviction that the Nepalese authorities should do everything possible to ensure that this crime does not go unpunished.

According to local media sources, Arun Singhaniya was shot by four men on motorbikes. Several armed groups have claimed responsibility for the murder. According to the same sources, these groups have also threatened the life of the Chief Editor of the daily newspaper Janakpur Today, and BBC correspondent Brij Kumar Yadav.

Arun Singhaniya was chairman of Janakpur Today Publications, which publishes Janakpur Today and operates Radio Today. A journalist from the radio station, Uma Singh, was murdered 12 months ago.

Mr Singhaniya’s death follows the murder of Jamin Shah, head of satellite TV station Channel Nepal and cable TV company Space Time Network, who was killed in similar circumstances in an attack in the capital, Katmandu, on 7 February 2010.

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 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…”
Related themes/countries

      · Nepal
      · Press Freedom
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists
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