Public Meeting on Justice, Human Rights and Media Trials – The Death of Khurshid Anwar and Beyond

Campaign for Khurshid Anwar invites you to a public meeting on Justice, Human Rights and Media Trials – The Death of Khurshid Anwar and Beyond on Saturday, 22nd February, 2014 at 3:30 PM at the Press Club of India, Raisina Road, Windsor Palace, New Delhi.

Speakers:

Arundhati Roy, writer

Saeed Naqvi, veteran journalist

Syeda Hameed, member of the Planning Commission

Seema Mustafa, veteran journalist and editor in chief of TheCitizen.in

Poornima Joshi, political editor of The Hindu Business Line

Shohini Ghosh, Professor at AJK Mass Communication Research Centre

Anusha Rizvi, film maker

Saheba Faruqui, All India Democratic Women’s Association

… And other academicians, activists and journalists.

It has now been two months since the shocking suicide of well-known activist Khurshid Anwar but the police have still not registered an FIR on the matter.

Following his death on the 18th of December, Dr Anwar’s family filed a formal complaint with the police on 23 December 2013. This complaint accuses several persons of propagating a false charge and causing irreparable harm to Dr Anwar’s reputation which ultimately drove him to suicide.

Dr Anwar’s family and friends have come together as the Campaign for Khurshid Anwar to press for a thorough investigation. This demand does not presuppose his innocence of the serious charges levelled against him.

Our Demands:

1. A thorough probe, without assuming the guilt of either the accused or the accuser. The probe must go into the entire chain of events unfolding on Facebook and the events pertaining to the distribution of the CD shot by Madhu Kishwar.

2. Action against those who vilified Dr Anwar on social media even before charges had been framed, ultimately pushing him to suicide.

3. The formulation of a transparent set of guidelines on crime reporting by TV news, to preserve the dignity of both the accusers and the accused, and to prevent cases of ‘trial by media’.

Strangely, our democratic and reasonable demands have been misrepresented, variously, as: harmful to ‘feminist causes’, an attack upon people from Northeastern states, an act of vengeance etc.

We are shocked to learn that a demand for a thorough probe, without assuming guilt on either side, can be reacted to in this manner. Particularly when a life has been cut short. Those asking us to ‘move on’ are suggesting they have no faith in the legal process.

Any complaint, whether ours or the one levelled against Dr Anwar, cannot be treated as the gospel truth and can only be substantiated in the light of an investigation and due legal proceedings.

Dr Anwar was denied a legal process in life. We appeal to self-anointed czars of various kinds of ‘isms’ to not deny the same to him in death, and to avoid trampling upon the rights of his family. 

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