UNESCO Director-General condemns assassination of Russian Journalist Alexei SidorovUNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today condemned the assassination of journalist Alexei Sidorov, editor in chief of the independent newspaper Togliattinskoe Obozrenie (“Togliatti Review”), in the Volga region of central Russia on October 9.
“The murder of Alexei Sidorov marks yet another attack on democracy and transparency in Russia and must be condemned as such,” said Mr Matsuura. “It is alarming to note that Mr Sidorov’s predecessor, Valery Ivanov, the founder of the Togliatti Review, was also murdered and that both journalists died in the line of duty.”
“I welcome the fact that the Interior Minister of Russia is determined to elucidate the crime and prosecute its perpetrators, giving a strong signal to those who seek to use violence to restrict freedom of the press, an essential component of democracy. This gives me cause to hope that those killed in recent years will not have died in vain.”
In 1997, at the 29th session of the General Conference, all of UNESCO’s Member States adopted a Resolution in which they undertook to investigate and prosecute those who murder journalists.