Manipur Journalists Shut Down To Protest Threats From Armed Groups

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) stands

in solidarity with media workers in Manipur, in India’s North-East, who shut

down newspapers last week for the third time in less than two years to protest

persistent threats from underground armed groups.



to IFJ sources, the All-Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) declared the

mass closure after cadre of the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) visited media

houses on October 26 to demand publication of a statement issued by the party’s

putative leader.


In the

statement, a faction of the KCP claimed responsibility for killing a local

official for alleged criminal activity.



outlets were at the same time told by a rival KCP faction that the statement

and the person who issued it had no credibility, and newspapers would risk

retaliation if they published the statement.


“This is

not the first time that journalists in Manipur have been caught in the

crossfire between rival groups, each claiming responsibility for a particular action,”

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline

Park said.


“The IFJ

strongly endorses the AMWJU action and urges all journalists in Manipur to

stand firm in the face of these threats.”



organised the state-wide shutdown of newspapers in Manipur between October 27

and 29 and staged a mass rally on October 28, presenting a memorandum to the

chief minister of Manipur state, demanding that the rights to free speech and a

free press be respected. A sit-in demonstration at a prominent spot in Imphal,

capital of Manipur, was also held.



only resumed publication following expressions of regret from both KCP




has led efforts to deal with the multi-faceted threats that journalists face by

adopting a code of conduct for media practitioners in situations of endemic

conflict. This has been an example for many other journalists’ organisations in

South Asia”, Park said.


“We call

on civil society in Manipur to support the struggle of the state’s journalists

for a safe and secure environment, so they can work to fulfil their

responsibility to keep the public informed.”


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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