UN experts ask govt to protect journalist Rana Ayyub from online threats

A group of UN human rights experts has expressed concern over continued threats to journalist Rana Ayyub, calling on the Indian government to urgently take steps to protect her and ensure the threats against her are promptly and thoroughly investigated.

“We are highly concerned that the life of Rana Ayyub is at serious risk following these graphic and disturbing threats,” said the UN experts.

Ayyub is an independent journalist and writer whose work has included investigations into alleged crimes committed by public and government officials.

The UN body said Ayyub faced online backlash after a parody account on Twitter with a handle nearly identical to that of news channel Republic TV published a tweet with a quote falsely attributed to Ayyub on April 22.

“Minor child rapists are also human, do they have no human rights,” the tweet said. “This Hindutva Government is bringing ordinance for death to child rapists just to hang Muslims in larger numbers. Muslims aren’t safe in India anymore.” The tweet was shared widely, forcing Ayyub to issue a clarification.

Following this, Ayyub received several hate messages and calls threatening gangrape and murder. In a column about online harassment that Ayyub wrote in The New York Times, she said another tweet saying “I hate India and Indians” was falsely attributed to her.

“The online mob asked me to pack my bags and leave for Pakistan, some threatened to tear my clothes and drag me out of the country while invoking the genocidal violence between Hindus and Muslims during the partition of India in 1947,” she said in The New York Times article. Ayyub also mentioned that a pornographic video was circulated with her face morphed on to the body of another woman.

Although the police have begun an investigation into the threats Ayyub has received, she has reportedly not yet received any police protection, the statement said. “The government [of India] has an obligation to provide effective protection to those who receive death threats and to protect individuals from foreseeable threats to life or bodily integrity,” the statement added.

Rana Ayyub is a journalist and author of Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up, a book that investigates the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The UN experts are Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection the right to freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Ahmed Shaheed and Special Rapporteur on violence against women Dubravka Šimonović.

Adam Rizvi

Adam Rizvi

Adam Rizvi has a unique talent for publishing to marketing to managing projects, writers & assigning the task to correspondents. Edits an e-paper & cover the news. An activist, spend time with family & friends. His adorable daughters, Alizah & Anum are his lifelines. He spends his time reading, swimming, hiking, cycling, and watching with them their favorite TV shows, & fixing the Big Old House where he lives. Studied literature & management. Volunteer for non-profits. President of a Travel Agency. Publisher. Circulated the newspapers. Acted & Assisted in directing & production of the award-winning film & TV Serial. Scripted a little. Modeled. Emceed the live shows & judged competitions. A caring sibling and was an obedient son of his late doting parents whom he misses dearly. Adam uses his various positions & experiences in building a strong relationship with all. Appreciates his articles being read, commented, liked, and shared. He can be reached at his personal email:

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