South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), the regional human rights network, expresses grave concern on the killing of senior Kannada journalist and social activist Gauri Lankesh. Ms. Lankesh, a vocal critique of Hindutva politics, was shot dead at close range by unidentified assailants in Bengaluru on 5th September 2017. She was running her own tabloid called Gauri Lankesh Patrikethrough which she was vocal on supporting secularism, the rights of Dalits and was critical of right wing and caste-based politics in the country.
SAHR condemns the killing in the strongest possible terms and sends its solidarity to the Press Community in India at this time of crisis. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 40 media personnel have been killed in India during the period from 1992 to 2017. This indicates the growing tendency of silencing voices of Journalists and Activists in the India. SAHR requests the authorities to conduct a fair, independent and speedy investigation and ensure justice for this brutal killing. We urge the Indian government to ensure the security of journalists while respecting democratic norms and values.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights
Dr. Nimalka Fernando