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Artikel

30 Jan 2021

Autor:
Human Rights Watch

India: Human Rights Watch denounces repression of journalists following ‘baseless’ sedition charges against those covering protests

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“India: Journalists Covering Farmer Protests Charged”, 30 January 2021

Eight journalists who covered the farmer protests in India and violence in Delhi on January 26, 2021 are facing baseless criminal charges, Human Rights Watch said today. The Indian authorities should drop the charges, which include sedition, promoting communal disharmony, and making statements prejudicial to national integration.

The police in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Haryana states have filed cases of sedition and promoting communal disharmony against six senior journalists and editors …

Journalist associations and opposition political parties have widely condemned the crackdown. The Editors Guild of India said the police cases were “an attempt to intimidate, harass, browbeat, and stifle the media.” It demanded that the cases be immediately withdrawn…

Following the January 26 violence, the central government shut down mobile internet services at several protest sites bordering Delhi to “maintain public safety.”…

Under international human rights law, India has an obligation to ensure that restrictions on the internet and other forms of communication are provided by law and are a necessary and proportionate response to a specific security concern…

The Delhi police have filed 44 criminal cases and arrested 122 people in relation to the violence. The police have also filed cases of rioting, attempted murder, and criminal conspiracy against at least 37 well-known farmers’ union leaders and activists …

Even before the violence, in January, the National Investigative Agency questioned farm leaders, Sikh activists, and journalists based on allegations that a group, Sikhs for Justice – which advocates secession – is aiding the protests…

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