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Roundtable On Combating Of Harassment And Abuse Of Journalists

Guests attending the breakfast roundtable discussion on “The combating of harassment and abuse of journalists: Seeking new rules of engagement on September 28, 2019

Sanef held a Breakfast Roundtable on World News Day marked by the World Editors Forum on Saturday, September 28, 2019. The roundtable focused on combating online harassment and abuse of journalists: seeking new rules of engagement.

The guest speaker was Rana Ayyub, internationally acclaimed Indian journalist and writer. Also, in attendance, was Commissioner Lawrence Mute, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa. Journalists and civil society organisations, including the Special Freedom Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, Media Monitoring Africa, the Press Council of SA and the Freedom of Expression Institute, made valuable contributions.



Rana Ayyub is 35 years old and lives in Mumbai. She is a prominent Indian investigative journalist and a political writer and an important voice from South Asia. She has worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with some of the leading publications in India and internationally.

Indian investigative journalist Rana Ayyub’s book has not been published in her country, and yet it has sold over 700,000 copies.

Her pieces appear in the Time Magazine, Washington Post, New York Times, Guardian and Foreign Policy among other publications. Rana’s political investigation has been ranked as the twenty biggest stories of all times across the world.

She was an Editor with Tehelka which was India’s groundbreaking investigative magazine.  Rana has reported on religious violence, extrajudicial killings by the state, insurgency and authored an international bestseller titled “Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover-Up’.  At the age of 26, she got the first serving Interior Minister of the country arrested with her expose. In 2010 she went undercover with eight cameras on her body posing as a student of the American film institute conservatory in Los Angeles. The undercover operation exposed the role of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in the Gujarat genocide of 2002. The investigation that was cited as an equivalent to the Watergate scandal unleashed targeted harassment and intimidation by the Indian government against her. In 2018, six United Nations Special Rapporteurs wrote to the Indian government to protect her from the death threats and harassment and ensure her safety.

In a career spanning twelve years, Rana has been awarded the Sanskriti Award for integrity and excellence in journalism by the President of India. She was the recipient of the Global Shining Light award for Investigative journalism in the year 2017 and the Most Resilient Global Journalist of 2018 at the Peace Palace in Hague. She has also been named by Time magazine among ten global journalists who face maximum threats to their lives. Rana is based in Mumbai.  In 2018 Outlook magazine named her the youth icon of the year, calling her a woman whose pathbreaking achievements have been an inspiration for the youth of the country.

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