Among the four recipients of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 2023 International Press Freedom Awards is NWMI member Shahina KK.
In CPJ’s own words, “Shahina is a veteran Indian journalist who has worked across print and broadcast media to shed light on issues such as gender, human rights, and marginalized communities, along with the injustices they face… A Muslim by birth, Shahina has also been subjected to extensive harassment by Indian right-wing groups seeking to silence her reporting on religious minorities and vulnerable caste groups.”
Currently a senior editor for Outlook magazine, she was one of the country’s first journalists to be charged under a draconian anti-terror law after reporting on the alleged fabrication of witness statements by the police in connection to bombings in Bengaluru in 2008. She has continued her reporting despite awaiting trial for a case opened in 2010. As of June 2023, Shahina is out on bail pending trial.
If convicted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA, which has been extensively weaponised against journalists in the country for over a decade, she faces a maximum of three years in prison and a fine.
We are proud of our friend and colleague, and happy for this recognition that vindicates her years-long struggle. She is the third NWMI member to receive the same award, after Malini Subramaniam in 2016 and Neha Dixit in 2019.