Newspapers Shut Down in India’s Manipur State, as Militant Threats Mount

 Media Release: India                                                                                       5

September 2013         

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is

alarmed to learn of a two-day shutdown by newspapers in the northeastern Indian

state of Manipur, following explicit threats from an underground armed group

that the distribution of newspapers not publishing its statements would be

blocked and their personnel attacked.

According to information received from the All Manipur

Working Journalists Union (AMWJU), a unit of the IFJ-affiliated Indian

Journalists’ Union (IJU), newspaper distribution for two days beginning 1

September was suspended by vendors under the threat of violent retribution by

an underground group.

Following this, AMWJU on 2 September decided to

observe a two-day closure to ensure that the state government took note of the

predicament that journalists and other media workers continue to face in a

state that is home to an estimated thirty armed insurgent groups.

According to the AWMJU, this is the fifth complete

shutdown of Manipur’s newspapers in less than five years.

IJU representatives on the Press Council of India

(PCI) have brought the matter to the attention of its chairman, Justice

Markandey Katju, who has written to the chief minister of Manipur, asking that

all necessary measures be taken to ensure that journalists are able to function

in an atmosphere free of fear.

“We applaud partners in the AWMJU for their consistent

and tireless fight for journalists working in the highly challenging

environment in Manipur”, said the IFJ Asia Pacific.

“The code of conduct that AMWJU has evolved to deal

with the situation of multiple insurgencies in the state, is an example for

journalists in other regions that face similar complexities”.

“We call on the state government in Manipur and the

security agencies of the Indian government deployed in the state, to respond to

the urgent calls from AWMJU that conditions be secured for safeguarding

journalists’ rights and the public right to know”.

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950


represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries



the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific



the IFJ on Facebook: