Three journalists were allegedly beaten by security personnel on May 22.
The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a strongly-worded statement yesterday after reports on three journalists being allegedly assaulted by security personnel in Manipur.
“Authorities in India’s Manipur state must thoroughly investigate the recent attack on three journalists by security forces, and ensure that those responsible are held to account,” said Beh Lih Yi, the committee’s Asia program coordinator. “Journalists in Manipur must be able to do their work safely and without fear of harassment and abuse by soldiers.”
Imphal Free Press had reported on May 22 that security personnel “physically assaulted” three journalists covering violence in Imphal. The journalists were identified as Sorom Inaoba and Nongthombam Johnson from Mami TV and Brahmacharimayum Dayananda from ANI. They were allegedly accused of pelting stones – a charge they denied.
The report quoted the journalists as saying the security forces “dragged us down, tearing off our vests and started beating us without any hesitation”. CPJ said Inaoba “suffered injuries on his head and right hand” while Johnson had a “head injury”.
Press bodies in the state – the Indian Journalists Union, All Manipur Working Journalists Union, Editors’ Guild Manipur and Manipur Hill Journalists Union – had condemned the assault.