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Media Forums Rap Gauri Murder

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Ashis Ray- President of IJA gives opening remarks

Ashis Ray, President of the London-based Indian Journalists’ Association of Europe, said freedom of expression, which includes the right of newspersons to discharge their duties without fear, is sacrosanct in the Indian constitution….reports Asian Lite News

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Ashis Ray, President of the Indian Journalists’ Association

Indian Journalists’ Association of Europe, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova besides several leaders of human rights and journalism groups have added their voices to calls for Indian authorities to bring the murderers of journalist Gauri Lankesh attackers to justice.

Lankesh was shot dead outside her home on Tuesday at Bengaluru in southern state of Karnataka by assailants on a motorbike.

Ashis Ray, President of the London-based Indian Journalists’ Association of Europe, said freedom of expression, which includes the right of newspersons to discharge their duties without fear, is sacrosanct in the Indian constitution

“Indian Journalists’ Association of Europe expresses great concern at the continuing murders of fellow journalists in India,” he said in a statement. “Eleven of our colleagues have been killed for apparently political reasons in the past 39 months. Freedom of expression, which includes the right of newspersons to discharge their duties without fear, is sacrosanct in the Indian constitution. We call upon all concerned authorities in India to bring to book perpetrators of such crimes and to prevent these incidents from occurring in future.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler said: “We urge police in Karnataka to thoroughly investigate the murder of Gauri Lankesh, including whether journalism was a motive.”

Bengaluru: Senior Kannada journalist and social activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead by unidentified men at her residence in Bengaluru on Sept 5, 2017. She was shot dead from close range when she was standing at the gate of her house in Rajarajeswari Naga by .
Senior Kannada journalist and social activist Gauri Lankesh (File Photo: IANS)

“I condemn the murder of Gauri Lankesh,” UNESCO chief Bokova said. “Any attack on the media is an attack on the fundamental right to freedom of expression of each member of society. I urge the Indian authorities to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and this crime is punished.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler said: “We urge police in Karnataka to thoroughly investigate the murder of Gauri Lankesh, including whether journalism was a motive.”

Human Rights Watch South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly said: “The motives for Gauri Lankesh’s killing are not yet known, but the possibility of a politically motivated shooting needs to be fully and promptly investigated.”

The organisation described Lankesh, the editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike weekly, as a campaigner “for democracy, secularism, and civil liberties” and “a vocal critic of militant Hindu nationalism promoted by supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”

“Authorities in India need both to bring Lankesh’s killers to justice and to protect media freedom and the right to free expression,” Ganguly added.

Bengaluru: Sadhus pay tribute during the public viewing of the mortal remains of Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru on Sept 6, 2017. Editor of the weekly Kannada tabloid "Lankesh Patrika", Lankesh was shot dead by unidentified men at her residence on Sept 5, 2017. (Photo: IANS) by .
Sadhus pay tribute during the public viewing of the mortal remains of Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru (Photo: IANS)

UNESCO said that Bokova issued the statement as required by the organisation’s landmark 1997 resolution on the “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.”

The resolution also mandates the Director-General to condemn attacks on journalists and also demand that governments prosecute the attackers.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric repeated Bokova’s statement at his daily briefing at the UN headquarters in New York.

Butler said that”India needs to address the problem of impunity in journalist murders and ensure the press can work freely.”

The committee said that India was ranked 13th on its latest Impunity Index, “a measure of countries worldwide where journalist are killed and the murderers go free.”

At least 27 journalists have been murdered in direct retaliation for their work in India since 1992, according to CPJ.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJhoSXNf5hY

Bengaluru: People stage protest against senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh's murder in Bengaluru on Sept 6, 2017. Editor of the weekly Kannada tabloid "Lankesh Patrika", Lankesh was shot dead by unidentified men at her residence on Sept 5, 2017. (Photo: IANS) by .
People stage protest against senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh’s murder in Bengaluru (Photo: IANS)