Gauri Lankesh : 1st Indian to win Anna Politkovskaya Award

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Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh, a strident critic of religious extremism who was shot dead last month, has been awarded a prestigious global award, given in the memory of a slain Russian reporter and political activist.Anna Politkovskaya Award was instituted by Reach All Women (RAW) in War.

It was honoured to award the annual Anna Politkovskaya Award for women human rights defenders from war and conflict zones jointly to Gauri Lankesh posthumously and to a brave Pakistani activist Gulalai Ismail, who similarly is fighting against Islamic extremism. 

Lankesh, 55, shared the Reach All Women in WAR (RAW in WAR) Anna Politkovskaya Award with Gulalai Ismail, 31, a Pakistani peace activist who has faced death threats for speaking out against the Taliban. Lankesh is the first person from India to receive the honour.

The award marks the 11th anniversary of the killing of Politkovskaya, a Russian investigative reporter and activist who uncovered state corruption and rights abuses, especially in Chechnya.

RAW in WAR, a London-based, non-governmental organisation supporting women human rights defenders and victims of war, also honoured Rohingya refugee Jamalida Begum, who spoke out publicly about her rape by Myanmar security forces.