Press release

Director-General deplores the death of journalist, poet and film maker Baktash Abtin in Iran


The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has denounced the death of writer, journalist and film maker Baktash Abtin in Iran on 8 January.

I deplore the death of Baktash Abtin. I call on the Iranian authorities to respect the rights of journalists and artists and urge them to recognize the basic human right of freedom of expression.
Audrey Azoulay UNESCO Director-General

Baktash Abtin died from COVID-19 related complications while serving a six-year prison sentence. Reports suggest his treatment was delayed and that this may have been a factor in his death.

UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and a range of actions, notably in the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.


See also: UNESCO observatory of killed journalists

Media contact: Guilherme Canela de Souza Godoi