Media Release: India
January 8, 2013
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
joins partners and affiliates in India in condemning the continued detention of
Naveen Soorinje, a journalist with the Kasturi TV news channel, in Mangalore
city in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.
been held since November 7 on charges of involvement in a right-wing
vigilante group’s attack on group of reveling teenagers in a Mangalore resort on July 28.
failure to obtain bail from a local magistrate’s court in Mangalore,
Soorinje made an appeal to the High Court of Karnataka, which ruled on November
19 that criminal proceedings be postponed until it arrived at a determination
in the matter.
On December 26, the High Court rejected the bail plea
on the grounds that Soorinje’s video recording of the attack indicated his
Journalists’ unions in Mangalore city and neighbouring
Udupi have been campaigning for Soorinje’s release on the grounds that he was carrying
out his job as a journalist after being alerted to the attack by a source who
was close to the incident.
In fact it was Soorinje’s recording of the incident
that assisted local police in identifying and arresting many of the individuals
responsible for the violence.
On January 5, the Karnataka Union of Working
Journalists and other bodies rallied in the state capital of Bangalore and the
cities of Mysore and Mangalore, demanding Soorinje’s freedom and unconditional
At a meeting with the Home Minister of Karnataka this
week, journalists’ unions were assured that the State Cabinet would consider the
matter and could make a request to local police to drop all charges against
The IFJ Asia-Pacific stands in solidarity with the journalists’
unions in their campaign.
“We call for the Indian authorities to recognize the value
of public service journalism as carried out by Soorinje, rather than continue
his victimisation which undermines press freedom”.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950
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