August 23, 2013

NWMI condemns gangrape of woman journalist in Mumbai & demands safety for women media professionals


The Network of Women in Media, India, (NWMI) is shocked and angry at the alleged gangrape of a woman journalist and the assault on her male colleague in the evening of August 22 while they were on assignment for a print publication near the Shakti Mills compound at Mahalaxmi in Central Mumbai.

The two journalists were accosted and intimidated by a few people who demanded to see their authorisation for shooting in the area. They took the woman journalist aside on the pretext of securing the authorisation for her, tied up her colleague and allegedly gangraped her. In all, five persons perpetrated the attack, according to preliminary reports. The woman journalist showed great presence of mind in freeing herself and also managed to free her colleague and the two then sought to file a complaint with the N M Joshi Marg police station. They are being treated at Jaslok Hospital now for multiple injuries.

The incident is a grim reminder of the deteriorating state of safety for women across the country, as well as the lack of security for media professionals, especially women media professionals. The harassment of women professionals in the media is on the rise and, along with work-place related harassment, journalists also have had to contend with anti-women prejudices and biased reactions from employers as well as law enforcement officers.

The Network of Women in Media, India extends all support and solidarity to the journalist who were assaulted. The NWMI also cautions its colleagues in the media to report on the incident responsibly and sensitively, without providing unnecessary details that provide markers to the identity of the journalists involved.

The NWMI demands that the police conduct a speedy investigation into the gang rape and assault and ensure that justice is delivered without delay.

The NWMI also urges media employers to desist from introducing restrictions on work assignments for women journalists and instead ensure the safety and security of their staff.

Yours sincerely,

Geeta Seshu, Mumbai
Kalpana Sharma, Mumbai
Meena Menon, Mumbai/Islamabad
Sameera Khan, Mumbai
Sandhya Srinivasan, Mumbai
Sharmila Joshi, Mumbai
Jyoti Punwani, Mumbai
Rina Mukherjee, Kolkata
Rajashri Dasgupta, Kolkata
Kavin Malar, Chennai
Laxmi Murthy, Bangalore
Ammu Joseph, Bangalore
Gita Aravamudan, Bangalore
Kaumudi, Pune
and others

on behalf of
Network of Women in Media, India

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