WAN-IFRA Writes to PM Over Shujaat Bukhari, Calls for Quick Probe

The global press body emphasised on the state’s responsibility to ensure that journalists do not face violence.  

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The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing "grave concern" over the murder of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari, and asked for a quick and thorough investigation in the case.

Addressed to PM Modi, the letter, written by the presidents of the two organisations on Friday, 15 June, said:

We ask that you take all necessary steps to ensure that local and national authorities carry out a quick and thorough investigation and bring the perpetrators – and masterminds – to justice. We urge you to do everything possible to end the hostile media environment in Jammu and Kashmir so that journalists are able to work without fear of violence.
Letter by WAN-INFRA and World Editors Forum to PM Modi

Pointing out that at least six journalists have been murdered "with complete impunity in direct retaliation for their work in Jammu and Kashmir since 1992", the letter emphasised the state's responsibility "to provide conditions in which journalists are able to carry out their work free from violence."

It also described Bukhari as one of Kashmir's "best-known journalists" and one who represented "an unusually moderate voice on the subject of Kashmir".

The senior journalist was shot dead by three to four armed men at the Press Enclave in Srinagar on 14 June, when he was stepping out of his office. Along with Bukhari, two of his two personal security officers were also killed. His death triggered an outrage across the country, with many expressing concern over threats that journalists are facing, especially those operating in conflict-ridden areas such as the Kashmir Valley.

Notably, WAN-IFRA is one of the foremost media associations in the world, claiming to represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in over 120 countries, with an aim to safeguard the rights of journalists.

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