Friday, December 02, 2011

Renewed death threat against human rights defender Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Front Line Information <>
Date: Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 5:40 PM
Subject: Renewed death threat against human rights defender Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi
To: Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi <>

2 December 2011

Re: India – Renewed death threat against human rights defender Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi

On 29 November 2011, human rights defender Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi received a death threat via mobile phone. Lenin Raghuvanshi is the Secretary General and Executive Director of the Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR). His human rights work focuses on advocating for the basic rights of marginalised groups in Indian society. Front Line has previously expressed its concern on several occasions regarding threats and calls to cease their human rights work received by Lenin Raghuvanshi and the staff of the PVCHR between April and May 2008, as well as the death threats received in July 2009 and December 2007.

On 29 November, at 5.27pm, Lenin Raghuvanshi received a phone call from phone number +94757251733. The caller verbally abused the human rights defender and commented on human rights, before threatening to kill him, saying "If you speak too much you will be shot out".

About one hour later, having publicised the threats on his Facebook page, Lenin Raghuvanshi attempted to call the person back in order to ascertain his identity. The caller answered the second call and identified himself as J P Mishra, a resident of Gorakhpur. He said, "You do not know about my power. Son, I have relations with many people (...) I lived in Mumbai I can do anything. (...) understand, I have the power to do anything." The caller spoke in Bhojpuri.

After receiving this information, Lenin Raghuvanshi immediately sent the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Director General of Police an email informing them of what had transpired. This information was re-sent the following day by mail. The NHRC registered the complaint as Case No. 49995/24/34/2011.

Lenin Raghuvanshi is currently working on the case of Mr Sohrab Khan, who was murdered in the night of 23 March 2011 in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh State. The caller mentioned that he is a resident of the same district.

Front Line believes that the death threat against Lenin Raghuvanshi is directly related to his legitimate human rights work, particularly his investigation into the murder of Sohrab Khan and his work in the defence of the rights of marginalised groups. Front Line is seriously concerned for the physical and psychological integrity and security of Lenin Raghuvanshi.

Front Line urges the authorities in India to:

  1. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the death threat against human rights defender Lenin Raghuvanshi, as well as previous threats, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

  2. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Lenin Raghuvanshi;

  3. Investigate reports of death threats and other forms of intimidation against human rights defenders in India, and adopt immediate measures to ensure their protection;

  4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in India are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

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