The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists (India) (NUJI) in strongly criticizing the actions of police who charged at a group of journalists in northern India. The IFJ call on the local and state authorities to investigate the incident and guarantee the safety of journalists.
On November 24, journalists were covering a dharma (a non-violent, sit-in protest) between the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Ramshankar Katheria, BJP MLA and local traders in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. During the protest, police tried to disburse the group and ‘baton charged’ at the journalists. During the incident, over 10 journalists were injured, including some seriously, after they were beaten by police during the charge.
In a statement, NUJ(I) president Ras Bihari said: “It is very shameful that journalists were beaten and lathicharged. NUJ(I) have sent a complaint to Union House Minister and Governor of UP in this regard.
NUJ(I) secretary general, Ratan Dixit, said: “It is very unfortunate that in the state of UP the incidents of attack on media by the Police department is on the rise. We demand an enquiry from the central government in this matter.”
Since June this year, three journalists have been killed in Uttar Pradesh, making up three of the six journalists killed in India this year.
The IFJ said: “Journalist safety has been on the steady decline this year and the government needs to take action. Journalists should never be attacked for simply doing their job, as these journalists were. We call on the Indian government, as well as local governments to take a stand and support India’s media community.”
NUJ(I) is organizing a protest on December 7 to demand better conditions for journalists in India. More information is available here.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries
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