Archive for September 9, 2017

Sex workers’ network on Gauri Lankesh´s brutal murder

gauri-lankesh-murder

The National Network of Sex Workers, India joins the voices that are committed to freedom and democratic values in fighting to preserve the values and principles Gauri Lankesh stood for

The National Network of Sex Workers, India, strongly condemns the killing of journalist and editor Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, Karnataka, on September 5, 2017. Gauri Lankesh was a supporter of the rights of the underprivileged, worked tirelessly for the protection of minorities and dalits and fought against communal and casteist forces.

For several years now, Gauri Lankesh, editor of ‘Gauri Lankesh Patrike’, has been speaking out against the increasing fragmentation of society on grounds of caste, gender, sexuality, religion and communal forces.

Through her work with the Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike (Communal Amity Forum, Karnataka), she and other like-minded people have struggled against forces that were trying to destroy the secular and democratic fabric of society.

NNSW members are female, male and transgender workers, committed to secular and democratic values enshrined in the Constitution of India.

NNSW demands a speedy investigation into her death and the arrest of the culprits.In addition NNSW, joins all the voices that are committed to freedom and democratic values in fighting to preserve the values and principles Gauri Lankesh stood for.

Gauri Lankesh murder: An attack on democracy, feminism and freedom of expression

Gauri Lankesh murder

Veteran journalist Gauri Lankesh´s murder is an assault on democratic space, dissenting voices and human rights defenders

More than 300 feminists have gathered in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for the third Asia Pacific Feminist Forum (APFF). On the opening morning the participants shared their anger over the growing patriarchal authoritarian rule in the region and globally that has grown out of three decades of neo-liberal globalisation enabled through militarism, fundamentalisms and patriarchy.

In this context, the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh was highlighted as an emblematic example of the attacks our governments have enabled through their support to right wing vigilante groups and their own attacks on civil society, feminism and human rights. Her murder is an assault on democratic space, dissenting voices and human rights defenders.

A fearless journalist, Lankesh wrote about and ridiculed the rise of authoritarian, patriarchal nationalism and human rights violations committed against religious minorities, different genders, persecuted people like the Rohingya refugees, sexual minorities; as well as oppressive traditions, caste politics, and the nexus between environmental destruction and corruption

Hers was one of the strongest voices against the polarising Hindutva forces in India in recent times, both in Kannada and English languages. Her fearless journalism had drawn multiple threats and verbal attacks from groups like the RSS and she faced legal charges of defamation for her work.

“We believe her murder in a large city, right outside her home, was possible because of the climate of impunity created to support violent, right wing groups and because religious and cultural extremism has been normalised in an attempt to enrich a few at the expense of the many. Murders of Women Human Rights Defenders like Lankesh make the rapid erosion of rights in India possible,” says Albertina Almeida, human rights lawyer from India.

While the government puts enormous effort into charging and harassing journalists and women human rights defenders , they fail to prosecute those responsible for murder, for hate speech and criminal intimidation. “It is imperative that India’s democratically elected government perform its obligation to maintain an atmosphere of free speech, as deemed a fundamental right by the Indian Constitution; and protect those who are threatened for doing so, ” says Kate Lappin, Regional Coordinator of Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD).

Cristina Palabay, woman human rights defender from Philippines adds, “Failure by the Government to conclusively investigate the murders of people in recent times, amounts to affording a de facto impunity to the Hindutva forces and defaulting on its obligation as a signatory to various international human rights treaties”.

We condemn the killing, and the rise of unchecked right wing Hindu nationalism. We demand that a judicial inquiry be initiated by the Government of Karnataka, to inquire into the killing of Gauri Lankesh.

About APWLD
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), a leading network of feminist organisations and grassroots activists in Asia Pacific. Our over 200 members represent groups of diverse women from 26 countries in Asia Pacific. Over the past 30 years, APWLD has actively worked towards advancing women’s human rights and development justice. We are an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation and hold consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council

BUJ statement on killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh

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The Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists expresses shock and anger at the dastardly killing of Gauri Lankesh, editor of Lankesh Patrika, in Bengaluru this evening.

Gauri Lankesh has been a trenchant and courageous critic of hindutva and casteist politics. Since last November, she has been fighting her conviction in a criminal defamation case against BJP MP in Dharwad Prahallad Joshi and was out on bail.

Journalists will not be cowed down by such cowardly acts. The BUJ demands that the Karnataka government move with speed to investigate the killing and book the assailants. As it is, there has been no progress in the investigation into the death of the renowned writer Kalburgi. The failure to book the culprits will further embolden obscurantist forces in their nefarious attempts to intimidate and silence independent voices of dissent and reason.