Partner organisations of the South
Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) express solidarity with journalists who
have suffered assault and detention in India
In an incident in India that has led to widespread
expressions of concern, photographer Bhaskar Deka was assaulted by personnel of
the Indian army as he was filming a scuffle between soldiers, villagers and
students at Misamari, near Tezpur, in Sonitpur district of Assam state, on July
Residents were aggrieved by an army
decision to close a road near a military camp, since this blocked off an
important route of access for school-going children.
Deka suffered bruises in the scuffle
and his camera was reportedly smashed by army personnel. He was later taken to a
police station in the army camp and detained for some time.
Partners of SAMSN, comprising media
freedom organisations and journalists’ bodies from the eight countries of South
Asia, also joined the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in demanding
the suspension of police officers who assaulted security staff and manhandled
three reporters at a newspaper office in Peshawar,
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, on August 6.
According to reports received from
the PFUJ, police arrived at the office of the Mashriq, a leading Urdu
newspaper, after reports of gunfire in the area. Police sought to force their
way into the premises in the belief that the culprits were hiding inside. They allegedly
assaulted two security guards who tried to stop then and then roughly
manhandled three reporters.
The men responsible for the shooting,
it turned out, were not on the premises.
“As a platform for sharing
experiences between journalists and media workers pursuing their jobs in a
challenging environment, SAMSN welcomes these cross-border expressions of solidarity,”
IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“Despite a relatively unfettered
legal environment, the dangers of arbitrary action by state and non-state actors
are ever present in most South Asian countries.”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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