Director-general condemns killing of Bangladeshi journalist Dipankar ChakrabartyThe Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the savage murder of Dipankar Chakrabarty, editor of the daily newspaper Durjoy Bangla, in Sherpur in the northwest of Bangladesh.
“I condemn the savage murder of Mr Chakrabarty,” Mr Matsuura said. “Mr Chakrabarty, who was also the vice president of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists had reportedly been threatened for writing about organized crime. His murder is not just a heinous crime against one person, it constitutes an intolerable attack on democracy and rule of law, which depend on the ability of journalists to work without let or hindrance for free and independent media.”
Unidentified assailants wielding axes hacked Mr Chakrabarty to death on October 2 while he was returning home from work. Police said the assailants were most likely “professionals.” According to the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters sans Frontières (RSF), Mr Chakrabarty is the fourth journalist killed in Bangladesh this year.
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…”