UNESCO Media Freedom Committee, India condemns murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh

UNESCO Media Freedom Committee, India condemns murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh

The UNESCO Media Freedom Committee, India, strongly condemns the horrific murder of senior journalist and editor Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, Karnataka on September 5, 2017.

Gauri Lankesh, who has been a trenchant critic of religious as well as casteist fundamentalist forces in the country, was shot dead outside her residence by unidentified persons. Police have launched an investigation into the killing.

Through the years, Gauri Lankesh faced innumerable threats and fought several criminal defamation cases. Appealing against a conviction in a recent defamation case, she had stated that she would not be cowed down by threats and intimidatory tactics.

Gauri Lankesh has been a symbol of the struggle to practice journalism fearlessly and raise a voice for the underprivileged. Her loss to journalism and to society is irreparable.

The Media Freedom Committee calls upon the government of Karnataka state to act swiftly to investigate the killing and apprehend the culprits.

In addition, given the existing climate of impunity, where the killers of the writer MM Kalburgi are yet to be traced, the government of Karnataka must make all attempts to ensure the protection of all those intellectuals and writers who have been issued death threats by right wing and fundamentalist forces.

The Media Freedom Committee is committed to work with stakeholders to act upon assaults on freedom of expression and crimes against journalists, in keeping with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

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