The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins
partner organisations and affiliates in India in welcoming the release on bail
of Aseem Trivedi, a cartoonist and anti-corruption campaigner, after his arrest in Mumbai city on September 8 on charges of sedition and causing insult to India’s
The charge of sedition under article 124A of the
Indian Penal Code has been withdrawn by the police. Trivedi will continue to
face charges under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act and the
Information Technology Act, but was released on September 12, after posting a
bail bond of INR 5,000 (roughly USD 100).
IFJ partners, the Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) and
the Brihan-Mumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ) had issued strongly worded
condemnations of Trivedi’s arrest and called for a wider debate on article 124A
of the Indian Penal Code, leading potentially to its repeal.
The IFJ shares the concerns expressed by its partners
that the sedition law has become an instrument to suppress free and fair
reporting and has been frequently misapplied, despite a 1962 ruling by the
Indian Supreme Court laying down very strict conditions for its use.
DUJ observed a day of protest on September 13 and is
currently engaged in demonstrations around the theme of stopping “media
bashing” and saving journalism.
The IFJ extends its support and solidarity to its
Indian partners and affiliates in campaigning against the most recent spate of
attacks on journalistic freedom.
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