South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, is grieved at the murder of stalwart journalist Shujaat Bukhari, and strongly condemns the perpetrators who have tried to silence a voice for peace in Kashmir.
According to news reports, Shujaat Bukhari and his two security guards were shot dead in Srinagar by unidentified militants on the evening of 14 June 2018. Bukhari’s murder comes at the heels of the release of the first ever UN human rights report on Kashmir, which calls for an independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in the region.
Bukhari was the editor-in-chief of Srinagar-based English daily Rising Kashmir and was the former Bureau Chief of The Hindu. He was previously attacked by militants in 2000 and was briefly abducted in 2006. Nonetheless, he continued his work undeterred. Bukhari was known for his fair and impartial coverage of the conflict in Kashmir, consistently critiquing all stakeholders and advocating for a peaceful resolution via political dialogue.
SAHR mourns the loss of such a fearless and vibrant advocate for peace and justice, especially at a time when conflicts and divisions appear to be deepening across the subcontinent – nowhere more so than in Jammu and Kashmir.
The perpetrators of Bukhari’s murder must be brought to justice under the rule of law. Furthermore, India, Pakistan, and Kashmiri militants must commit to a genuine peace process and de-escalation of conflict in order to save lives and pay tribute to fearless peace lovers like Shujaat Bukhari.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights.