Protect Journo Rana Ayyub Urgently, United Nations To Indian Govt
Rana Ayyub received gang-rape and death threats after she was falsely quoted in a tweet on 20 April, 2018.
Rana Ayyub received gang-rape and death threats after she was falsely quoted in a tweet on 20 April, 2018.(Photo: The Quint)

Protect Journo Rana Ayyub Urgently, United Nations To Indian Govt

The United Nations human rights experts on Thursday, 24 May, released a statement calling Indian government to “urgently protect” journalist Rana Ayyub,who has received death threats following an online hate campaign.

According to the statement, Ayyub received gang-rape and death threats after she was falsely quoted in a tweet on 20 April, 2018. The malicious tweet claimed that Ayyub was supporting child rapists, stating that Muslims were no longer safe in India.

While she clarified that the tweet was false, her phone number and residential address was posted online, continuing the threating messages.

The statement pointed out that the government is responsible for ensuring that a prompt and thorough investigation is undertaken.

“We are highly concerned that the life of Rana Ayyub is at serious risk following these graphic and disturbing threats,” the UN experts’ statement read, also pointing at the murder of another Indian journalist, Gauri Lankesh.

The body also expressed alarm that a fake pornographic video allegedly showing Ayyub was also circulated online. While police investigation into the matter reportedly began earlier in May, she is “yet to receive any police protection”.

Governments also have a responsibility to build a safe environment for independent voices, including those of journalists critical of the authorities. We have previously urged the authorities in India to take active steps to reverse a political climate that, in recent years, has become increasingly polarised and hostile, especially to the media and those exercising the freedom of expression.
United Nations Statement

Ayyub is an independent journalist and has authored Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up, which delves into the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Read the full United Nations statement here.

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