Gauri Lankesh: First Indian to be honoured with Anna Politkovskaya Award

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Gauri Lankesh has finally be recognised her efforts, dedication for peace and human rights.

Late Gauri Lankesh, 55,  journalist and editor of Kannada tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike, who was shot dead on September 5, 2017, in Bengaluru, Karnataka is the first person from India to be honoured with Anna Politkovskaya award. She used to write about religious violence, the malaise of India’s hierarchical caste system and criticised the rise of hard-line Hindu groups. She will share this award with Gulalai Ismail, 31, a Pakistani peace activist who has faced death threats for speaking out against Taliban.

Anna Politkovskaya award

Anna Politkovskaya Award is given in memory of slain Russian reporter and political activist Anna Politkovskaya who highlighted the issues of state corruption and rights abuses. She was shot dead in the lobby of her Moscow apartment block at age of 48 on October 7, 2006. This year it will be the 11th anniversary of the killing of Anna Politkovskaya. It honours women human rights defenders. It is presented by (Reach all women in WAR) RAW in WAR organisation. It is a London based non- governmental organisation which supports women human rights defenders and victims of war all over the world.

Lankesh’s sister Kavitha told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that “This award is a morale booster for people who want to write and fight. It honours what Gauri stood for that you cannot silence me. The award does not belong to the family but to everyone who stood by Gauri”.

She further added that “People are wondering if they should get into journalism at all. There is an apprehension among people who want to do ethical work.

Ismail who will share the award with Lankesh expressed her grief about the death of Lankesh and told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that “It was heartbreaking that an advocate of democracy, a courageous voice was silenced. This award recognises our common struggle and courage.”

The nominations committee said in a note that “We are very honoured to award our annual Anna Politkovskaya Award for women human rights defenders from war and conflict zones jointly to Gauri Lankesh, posthumously and to a brave Pakistani activist, Gulalai Ismail, who similarly to Gauri, is fighting against the Islamic extremism in her country, Pakistan.”

In her name, the award has been instituted exclusively for women, to honour those who work towards upholding the human dignity, especially of women and children.

 

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