Global Press Bodies Write To PM Modi Expressing ‘Grave Concern’ Over ‘Harassment’ Of Journalists

by GoNews Desk 3 years ago Views 2682

Global Press Bodies Write To PM Modi Expressing ‘G
Two prominent media freedom organisations in a joint letter on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take urgent action against the rising use of draconian sedition laws and other legal sanctions to threaten and silence journalists in India.

Belgium-based The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Austria-headquartered International Press Institute (IPI), urged the Indian Prime Minister “to take immediate steps to ensure that journalists can work without harassment and fear of reprisal..and to direct the state governments to drop all charges against journalists, including those under the draconian sedition laws, that have been imposed on them for their work”.

Nearly 55 journalists were targeted for covering the coronavirus pandemic in India between 25 March to 31 May, said the press bodies in their letter citing a report by Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG).

Mentioning the names of few journalists who have been hounded for performing their duties, IFJ and IPI said “we find it extremely disturbing that governments in different states of India are attempting to stifle press freedom by filing cases against journalists under different sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Section 124A.”

“The number of cases filed against journalists have increased enormously after the spread of the pandemic. The health crisis [pandemic] is being used as an excuse to silence those who have exposed shortcoming in the government’s response to it… A free media is essential to a successful public health response,” the letter stated.

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