Press Trust of india

SAMDEN appeals to NHRC, seeks swift probe into Bukhari’s killing

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New Delhi: Denouncing the brutal killing of ‘Rising Kashmir’ editor Shujaat Bukhari, SAMDEN, a network of editors and media practitioners, today urged the NHRC and the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission to push for swift investigation into the case.

Bukhari, 53, and his two PSOs were shot dead by gunmen outside the newspaper’s office in the heart of Srinagar on June 14. He was shot dead soon after he boarded his car from his office in the Press Enclave at Lal Chowk.

Bukhari’s murder highlights the growing dangers of being a journalist, and also the impunity with which threats, attacks and murders have been carried out, said Sanjoy Hazaika, International Director of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) in a letter.

The copies of the letter have been sent to National Human Rights Commission chairperson justice (retd) H L Dattu, the SHRC, as well as to David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the CHRI said in a statement.

South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) is an informal association of independent editors and media practitioners, anchored in CHRI.

SAMDEN, cognizant of the increasing attacks on media workers and professionals, and pressures on freedom of speech and expression, calls upon the central and the state governments to take necessary steps to ensure safety and security for all journalists in India, the statement said.

Bukhari, a leading journalistic voice in Jammu and Kashmir, had been under police protection since 2000. He was described as a rare voice of moderation and reason and an advocate for peace and justice in a public discourse that has tended to locate itself in ideological extremes, it added.

He had worked for several years as state correspondent for ‘The Hindu’. He was instrumental in organising conferences for peace in the valley and was also a part of the Track-II dialogue process with Pakistan.

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