The Campaign is deeply concerned by recent death threats made to Campaign member and founder of the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network (MWGSN) and the Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI), Binalakshmi Nepram. We call for increased efforts to ensure her safety and protect other women human rights defenders in India and around the world.
Binalakshmi remains at an undisclosed location after receiving two death threats on October 18 and 20: one directly from an associate of an armed group in Northeastern India, and another by email. Delhi police have been informed of the threats.
Binalakshmi works in Manipur state and elsewhere in Northeast India, to tackle small arms proliferation, coordinate women-led initiatives for peace, and support women survivors of violence. Manipur is India’s most conflict-affected, militarized state, patrolled by 60 battalions of Indian armed forces—troops operating with impunity, under martial law instated by India’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958—as well as over 72 other armed groups. Conflict in Manipur has left approximately 20,000 people dead.
Women human rights defenders like Binalakshmi face incredible risks and threats as a result of their work to promote peace and justice. In 2013, the United Nations Security Council recognized this reality, through the passage of an historic resolution for the Protection of Women Human Rights Defenders. This resolution urges states to implement gender-sensitive policies and programming for the protection of women human rights defenders and ensure their effective participation in policy regarding their protection. India and all other states must act swiftly to implement these policies at the local, national and international levels.