The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the threats made against Indian journalists in the state of Assam and supports subsequent calls made by journalists for their rights to freedom of expression to be respected.
“Any attempt at bullying or intimidating journalists strongly undermines freedom of expression and the democratic role of the Indian media,” said IFJ president Christopher Warren. “Indian journalists’ right to freedom of expression must be respected,” he said.
Journalists in India raised concerns after threats were made on four senior print journalists in the north-eastern city of Guwahati by the banned United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) on June 8.
The Journalists' Union of Assam – an affiliate of the Indian Journalists' Union – organised a meeting at the Guwahati Press Club on June 15, whereby journalists’ called for ULFA, as well as government and non-government organisations, to respect journalists’ universal right to freedom of expression. They were reacting to the threat, issued by ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Barua through an e-mail on June 8 in which he had named D N Bezboruah, former editor of The Sentinel (also former president of Editors’ Guild of India), Prasanta Rajguru, executive editor of Amar Asam and two others.
The IFJ gives its full support to the calls on the ULFA to unconditionally respect the rights of editors and journalists to report freely without fear or favour.
For more information please contact IFJ Asia Pacific +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 110 countries