The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the attacks on the NE TV station office by members of the Youth Congress on October 12 in Assam, India.
According to an IFJ affiliate, the Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU), the group of Youth Congress workers gathered outside the station and yelled abuse at NE TV journalist Manoranjana Sinh and her husband, a former central minister, Matang Singh, for broadcasting a story on the issuance of a non-bailable warrant for Youth Congress chief, Rekiduddin Ahmed relating to his alleged involvement in an illegal land acquisition.
“This sort of behaviour is simply unacceptable, particularly by members of an organisation which advocates democracy,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.
“A free press is vital to a democratic system, and if the group had complaints about a news program there are much more effective and legitimate ways to voice these issues than resorting to aggression and intimidation,” Warren said.
The Youth Congress workers reportedly violently harassed Sinh, threatening to tear off her clothes and refusing to let her exit the building.
According to the IJU, the ruling party in the Assam area and its branch organisations seem to be intolerant of the media.
“There seems to be an increasing number of attacks on journalists in the Assam area and the IFJ is deeply concerned that this incident is indicative of a growing trend of targeted violence against, and intimidation of, journalists in the region,” Warren said.
“The governments of India and Assam need to do more to ensure the safety of media workers in the state of Assam,” he said.
Sinh reportedly registered a case with the police immediately, and the IFJ, as the organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists over 115 countries, calls for a full investigation into this degrading attack.
For more information please contact IFJ Asia Pacific +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries