Binalakshmi Nepram, who has helped several women affected by gun violence in the North Eastern states, won the prestigious 2018 Anna Politkovskaya Award. Reach All Women in War (RAW in WAR), a human’s rights organisation awarded Nepram with this honour because of her consistent work and courage to stand up against injustice, violence and extremism in conflict area of Manipur.

“I receive this honour wholeheartedly, on behalf of the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network, Control Arms Foundation of India and the Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace,” Nepram said after receiving the award.

She is the woman behind the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network set up in 2007 which has helped more than 20,000 female survivors of gun violence rebuild their lives and strive for justice. Nepram does not live in India as she fears for her life. After the murder of eminent journalist and co-winner of Anna Politkovskaya Award in 2017, Gauri Lankesh, Nepram fears that she would meet the same fate if she returned to India. Lankesh was a resident of Bengaluru and she died last year by a gun shot. It is alleged that the reason for her killing was her outspokenness on issues like religious extremism and violence in India.

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The award marks the resilience of all the women globally battling injustice. RAW in War gives out the award in honour of Russian journalist, writer and human rights activist, Politkovskaya whose fearless work put her in the Russian military’s line of fire.

Binalakshmi Nepram founded Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network in 2007 which has helped more than 20,000 female survivors of gun violence rebuild their lives and strive for justice.

Reacting to murders of journalists in the country, the organisation has reached out to government of India to put an end to the persecution, killings and intimidation of women human rights defenders. It also asked for an impartial investigation into Gauri Lankesh’s murder. The organisation has also urged the government of Myanmar to end the killings of Muslims and the sexual violence against women in the Rakhine State.

Nepram will receive the award along with Belarus’ Svetlana Alexievich who is also the recipient of Nobel Prize in Literature. She writes on the injustices in post-Soviet Union Russia and other regions facing the threat of Russian aggression. RAW in War will award the two winners in March 2019 in London at RAW in WAR’s  event.

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