SAMDEN calls for swift investigation into the murder of journalist Shujaat Bukhari

A leading informal association of independent editors and media practitioners, known as South Asian Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN), in CHRI, appealed to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the state’s HRC to investigate into the murder of Shujaat Bukhari and push for swift recompense, reported news agency PTI.

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

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Shujaat Bukhari was considered as a leading journalistic voice of ‘moderation and reason’, advocating for peace and justice via public discourse which had a tendency to tilt towards ideological extremes.

“The letter’s copies 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 stated.

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Shujaat Bukhari was assassinated on June 14, a few minutes before Iftar in Press Colony, Srinagar by three unidentified gunmen. His funeral was held in his hometown, Kreeri, situated in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

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