Sunday, September 18, 2011

‘FORUM-ASIA' team visits Shehla Masood's residence

A three-member fact-finding team of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development 'FORUM-ASIA' visited the residence of slain RTI activist Shehla Masood on Saturday afternoon.
The team will document a report about the conditions in which the RTI activist was living and threats she was facing after filing the RTI applications in various department.
Shehla was found murdered in her car in front of her residence on August 16. The district police investigated the case for around 16 days and later the CBI started probe.
The report will be shared with the United Nations Organisation (UNO) to gauge the conditions in which human rights activists work in India.
Commenting over the fact-finding report, Managing Trustee of Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) Shruti Nagwashi, who is one of the members of the team, said that the team has documented some information shared by the father of Shehla Masood and there is nothing investigative in that information.
"Since, the CBI has announced `5 lakh reward for providing any evidence in the murder case, Shehla's father has lost all hope in the probe," Nagwanshi said.
A team of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development ( FORUM- ASIA) on Saturday held discussion with the family members of slain RTI activist Shehla Masood, at her residence in Koh- e- Fiza. The exercise is a part of the Forums fact finding mission ( FFM) in India.
Talking to Free Press Shruti Nagvanshi of FORUM- ASIA said the defenders of freedom of expression and RTI activists are in dire need of protection from the state to carry out their activities, exercising right to information which has been enshrined in the Constitution of India, the international human rights instruments ratified by India, UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders as well as the Right to Information Act 2005 respectively.
She said the FFM is assessing overall situation of defenders of human 3rights, including RTI activists in India, and gathering information of selected cases besides documentation of the human rights violation and abuses.
The case study of Shehla Masood is a part of fact finding report to further enhance advocacy capacity towards the protection and promotion of human rights in India. The report would be forwarded to NHRC and other institutions and demanded them to investigate the cases of murder of human right defenders in the country, said Nagvanshi.
The team includes Kundan Aryal from Nepal, Shruti Nagvanshi and Bal Krishna Basant from Bangkok besides a number of local activists.

The team is assessing the situation of RTI activists in India and gathering information of select cases

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