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IWPC issues statement on rape & death threats against Journalist Neha Dixit

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Freelance journalist and an award-winning investigative reporter Neha Dixit, in a social media statement she posted around 9pm on January 25, revealed that an unidentified person attempted to break into her house in Delhi, fleeing when she shouted and opened the door. The incident follows a series of harassment and intimidation attempts, including threats of rape, acid attack and murder, by an unidentified group since September 2020. According to the statement, Dixit said the threats were entirely related to her role as a journalist. Several mobile numbers and different voices were used to threaten her. She further mentioned that the stalkers also target her partner.

Dixit, whose stories have been published in The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, Caravan and The Wire, is known for her ground-breaking investigative stories concerning female trafficking in Assam and gender-based violence against minority women during the Muzaffarnagar riots. She is a CPJ International Press Freedom Awardee of 2019.

NWMI (Network of Women in Media, India) in a statement condemned the continued attempts to silence journalists and intimidate them. The NWMI demands that the police:

• Immediately register an FIR;
• Conduct a thorough investigation into Ms Dixit’s complaint and
• Move swiftly to book the culprits

In a recently released statement, the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) notes with deep concern the harassment and threats that award-winning Delhi journalist Neha Dixit has been facing since September 2020.

Excerpts from the statement:
It is shocking to learn that to date no FIR has been filed following her January 27 complaint to the police, which includes telephone numbers from which she has received threats. The callers try to instill fear in her by giving her exact location, inside her house as well as outside and even describe the clothes she is wearing on these occasions.
The IWPC views this as an act to intimidate Ms Dixit and prevent her from carrying out her professional duties. It is a blatant attempt to muzzle her and stop her from highlighting facts and/or happenings that may be uncomfortable to some authorities.
The IWPC urges the Delhi Police Commissioner to ensure that immediate action is taken on Neha Dixit’s complaint, that the police file an FIR, investigate the matter and take strong action against the offenders.
This will not just help restore faith in Delhi Police’s commitment to the safety and security of Delhi’s women as well as its commitment to the ability of women journalists to carry out their work without fear or favour.