18/07/2018 / The Right Livelihood Award Foundation strongly condemns the violence perpetrated against Swami Agnivesh

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation strongly condemns the violence perpetrated against Swami Agnivesh

Culture and Spirituality, Peace, Democracy and Law, 18/07/2018

Swami Agnivesh at the meeting of Right Livelihood Award Laureates in Bonn, 2010. Photo: Wolfgang Schmidt, The Right Livelihood Award Foundation

Swami Agnivesh at a meeting of Right Livelihood Award Laureates in Bonn, 2010. Photo: Wolfgang Schmidt, Right Livelihood Award Foundation

On July 17th, Right Livelihood Award Laureate and social activist, Swami Agnivesh was brutally attacked in Pakur, Jharkhand, India.

He was punched, kicked and verbally abused by a large group of people holding black flags and chanting slogans against him, as it is possible to see in videos capturing the moment when he was assaulted. Dozens of Indian and international media outlets have reported on this vicious attack.

Swami Agnivesh has dedicated his life to challenging exclusion and discrimination. He has worked with issues such as child and bonded labour, inclusion of “outcasts” in Indian religious society, women’s rights, and religious tolerance and reconciliation.

In recognition of his essential work, he was presented with the 2004 Right Livelihood Award for “promoting over many years in South Asia the values of religious and communal co-existence, tolerance and mutual understanding”.

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation condemns this violent episode against Swami Agnivesh in the strongest terms and we stand with him in solidarity. We urge the Indian authorities to investigate the attack and to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.

 

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