On October 21, two international press associations — the International Federation of Journalists and the International Press Institute — wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to take “immediate steps to ensure that journalists can work without harassment and fear of reprisal”, reported.
The letter asked Modi 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”.
The letter said: "The number of cases filed against journalists have increased enormously after the spread of the pandemic...The health crisis 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."
It said the use of sedition laws to "harass independent, critical journalists" is a "gross violation of the country’s international commitments" and "an attempt by the government to silence any criticism".
Read the letter here:
There have been numerous instances of journalists been attacked, arrested or targeted in recent months in India. Earlier this month, freelance journalist Siddique Kappan was when on his way to Hathras. Kappan and three others were later booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
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