offered a reward of 500,000 Indian Rupees to anyone that beheads Swami Agnivesh

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward to you the
following press release from the Right Livelihood Award Foundation.

Asian Human Rights Commission

Hong Kong

————-

Hindu Mahasabha members from Haryana have offered a reward of 500,000
Indian Rupees to anyone that beheads Swami Agnivesh (RLA 2004).







A Press Release from Asia Press Office, Right Livelihood Award
Foundation, forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)


FORWARDED PRESS RELEASE

AHRC-FPR-015-2015

May 21, 2015

A Press Release from Asia Press Office, Right Livelihood Award
Foundation, forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

INDIA: Right Livelihood Award Laureates condemn incitement to murder
Swami Agnivesh

We, the undersigned Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award, and the
Right Livelihood Award Foundation, are deeply alarmed by reports
published in Punjab Kesari, Dainik Bhaskar, Dainik Jagaran, Navodaya
Times, and ABP News Channel on 24th and 25th April 2015, stating that
Hindu Mahasabha members from Haryana have offered a reward of 500,000
Indian Rupees to anyone that beheads Swami Agnivesh (RLA 2004).

We join Adama Dieng, Special Advisor on Genocide Prevention to the UN
Secretary General, and other international civil society leaders in
condemning this brazen incitement to commit violence, and we express
our fullest solidarity with Swami Agnivesh.

We urge that the Haryana police investigate this threat as a case of
abetment to murder and criminal intimidation under Sections 108, 115
and 503 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and hold the perpetrators
accountable.

We also note with deep concern that the aforementioned media
organisations have reported this grave threat in a manner that
glorifies and incites violence. Section 19(2) of the Indian
Constitution clearly states that the freedom of speech does not
include the freedom to incite a criminal offence.

We have written to the Editors of the media organisations requesting a
full apology, and intend to request the Press Council of India to
investigate this serious breach of journalistic ethics if the media
organisations do not respond. Further, we call upon the police to
investigate these media organisations for abetment to murder under
Sections 108 and 115 IPC.

Background

On 18thApril 2015, Swami Agnivesh visited Srinagar, Kashmir, to
participate in a fast. There he expressed his desire that conditions
be created to allow Kashmiri Pandits to return to Kashmir and live
side by side with their Muslim neighbours, and not be placed in
separate townships.

Hindu Mahasabha members in Haryana responded to Agnivesh’s appeal
for interfaith unity by publicly calling for his murder. This is in
gross violation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution that
enshrines and protects individuals’ right to life and personal
liberty. In recent days, Agnivesh has also received two threatening
phone calls from a group in Maharashtra.

Swami Agnivesh is a recipient of the joint Honorary Right Livelihood
Award in 2004, along with the late Asghar Ali Engineer, “for
promoting over many years in South Asia the values of religious and
communal coexistence, tolerance and mutual understanding.”

Signed by the following Right Livelihood Award Laureates:

Dr. Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, Council of Canadians, Canada
(RLA 2005)

Prof. Dr. Anwar Fazal, Director, Right Livelihood College, Malaysia
(RLA 1982)

Basil Fernando, Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong SAR, China
(RLA 2014)

Dr. Hans Herren, Founder of Biovision Foundation, Switzerland (RLA
2013)

Dr. SM Mohamed Idris, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (RLA 1988), Consumers
Association of Penang and the Third World Network, Malaysia

Asma Jahangir, Pakistan (RLA 2014)

Bianca Jagger, Founder and Chair, Bianca Jagger Human Rights
Foundation, Nicaragua/UK (RLA 2004)

Ida Kuklina, The Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia, Russia (RLA
1996)

Birsel Lemke, Turkey (RLA 2000)

Helen Mack Chang, Fundación Myrna Mack, Guatemala (RLA 1992)

Prof Dr. h.c. (mult.) Manfred Max-Neef, Director, Economics Institute,
Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile (RLA 1983)

Prof. Dr. Raúl A. Montenegro, President, Fundación para la defensa
del ambiente, Argentina (RLA 2004)

Frances Moore Lappé, Co-Founder, Small Planet Institute, USA (RLA
1987)

Nicanor Perlas, Center for Alternative Development Initiatives,
Philippines (RLA 2003)

P K Ravindran, Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad, India (RLA 1996)

Dr. Sima Samar, Chairperson, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights
Commission, Afghanistan (RLA 2012)

Mycle Schneider, Germany (RLA 1997)

Dr. Vandana Shiva, Navdanya, India (RLA 1993)

Prof. Michael Succow, Founder, Michael Succow Foundation for Nature
Conservation, Germany, (RLA 1997)

Suciwati, widow of Munir, Indonesia (RLA 2000)

Dr. Hanumappa Sudarshan, Karuna Trust & VGKK, India (RLA 1994)

Shrikrishna Upadhyay, Executive Chairman, Support Activities for Poor
Producers of Nepal, Nepal (RLA 2010)

Prof. Dr. Theo van Boven, The Netherlands (RLA 1985)

Martín von Hildebrand, Founder and Director, Fundación GAIA
Amazonas, Colombia (RLA 1999)

Chico Whitaker Ferreira, Brazil (RLA 2006)

Alla Yaroshinskaya, Russia (RLA 1992)

Angie Zelter, Trident Ploughshares, United Kingdom (RLA 2001)

Signed by the following RLA Board & jury:

Jakob von Uexkull, Co-Chair, Board of the Right Livelihood Award
Foundation, UK

Dr. Monika Griefahn, Co-Chair, Board of the Right Livelihood Award
Foundation, Germany

Ole von Uexküll, Executive Director, Right Livelihood Award
Foundation, Sweden

For more information, please contact:

Sharan Srinivas, Right Livelihood Award Foundation

Email: sharan@rightlivelihood.org

Phone: +46 8 702 03 35

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional
non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia,
documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional
reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The
Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

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