Pen Delhi issues a statement against the incarceration of columnist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra

By Manisha Pande

Published on :

The Delhi centre of Pen International,  a worldwide association of writers, has issued a strong statement against the arrest and incarceration of columnist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra. The statement notes: “The shocking state action against Iyer-Mitra highlights once more and irrevocably how draconian the country’s colonial era anti-free speech laws are and how they may be misused at the leisure of anyone wishing to harass a writer in this country.” It calls for the release of Iyer-Mitra and the quashing of charges against him by the authorities concerned. “This attack on his rights sets a dangerous precedent and makes every writer in this country vulnerable to similar attacks,” it notes.

Iyer-Mitra was charged under Section 295A by the Odisha Police for a video he shot outside the Konark Temple. He was denied relief from arrest by the Supreme Court and has since been in jail.