Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh, a strident critic of religious extremism who was shot dead last month, has been awarded a prestigious global award, given in the memory of a slain Russian reporter and political activist. Lankesh, 55, shared the Reach All Women in WAR (RAW in WAR) Anna Politkovskaya Award with Gulalai Ismail, 31, a Pakistani peace activist who has faced death threats for speaking out against the Taliban.
It is not by coincidence that Gauri’s work, her personality and the way she was killed for her work reminded us so much of the way Anna lived and died for the truth. Lankesh is the first person from India to receive the honour. Addressing a press conference here, Kavitha said the award does not belong to the family but to “everyone who stood by Gauri”.
The award marks the 11th anniversary of the killing of Politkovskaya, a Russian investigative reporter and activist who uncovered state corruption and rights abuses, especially in Chechnya. She was shot dead in the lobby of her Moscow apartment block at the age of 48 on October 7, 2006.