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Fahad Shah

HRD, Journalist
The Kashmir Walla

Fahad Shah is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Kashmir Walla which reports on political and human rights issues. He writes extensively on culture, human rights, identity politics and has been published in several international publications. In 2021, he won the Human Rights Press Award for his reporting on the riots in New Delhi in February 2020. He has also been nominated for the RSF Press Freedom Prize for Courage.

HRDs making use of the Right to Information (RTI) Act are liable to be killed, assaulted or harassed for exercising their fundamental right to demand and receive information from public authorities. Women HRDs are targeted with gender-specific threats – death, gang rape or acid attacks – both online and offline. They are particularly vulnerable in regions with a heavy presence of the military and armed groups. In the Red Corridor, a region in East India experiencing Naxalite-Maoist insurgency, HRDs, including lawyers, researchers and journalists face acts of intimidation and persecution and work under tremendous pressure from authorities, rebels, and vigilante groups. People defending the rights of marginalised communities such as the Adivasi and the Dalit can encounter death threats, destruction of their properties, fabricated charges, physical attacks, as well as caste-based discrimination by state and non-state actors alike.