#FreeThePress: Ahead of Modi’s White House visit, full-page ad in WaPo on India’s press freedom issues

‘India is the world’s largest democracy,’ it said, ‘yet it is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media.’

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Prime minister Narendra Modi is currently in the United States – doing yoga, hanging out with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Elon Musk, gifting Jill Biden a 7.5 carat green diamond, and having crucial dinners and meetings with US president Joe Biden. 

Amidst this hectic schedule, however, were some calls for the US to recognise concerns surrounding Modi’s term in office.

In New York City, trucks went out with screens telling Biden to ask Modi crucial questions about events in India – including the wrestlers’ protest and the detention of several activists, including Umar Khalid.


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And in the pages of the Washington Post, a full-page ad was taken out on Wednesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists and its partners on press freedom issues in India.

It carried the photos of six journalists currently detained in India:  Aasif Sultan, Gautam Navlakha, Sajad Gul, Fahad Shah, Rupesh Kumar Singh and Irfan Mehraj.

“India is the world’s largest democracy, yet it is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media,” it said. “Press freedom is under increasing threat, with journalists facing physical violence, harassment, bogus lawsuits, and hate campaigns on social media.”

The ad also said “leaders around the world who value democracy must urge those in power in India to stop the threats against journalists there”.

Earlier this week, 75 Democrats, including senators and members of the house of representatives, had written to Biden urging him to discuss with PM Modi concerns about press freedom, internet access, and religious intolerance in India.

Newslaundry has reported in detail on press freedom issues in India. Check out our work here. And if these issues concern you, contribute to our Press Freedom Fund, and help us tell more of these stories.

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