The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
deplores the arrest of the news editor of a Tamil daily in Indiaafter his newspaper published an article containing offensive
information about several prominent figures in the Tamil film industry.
B. Lenin, of Dinamalar, was
arrested in Chennai in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu reportedly for publishing
on October 4 a purported statement by a part-time Tamil actor who had earlier been
arrested on suspicion of running a prostitution ring.
reportedly named several prominent figures in the Tamil film industry as her
clients and as players in the prostitution racket.
Dinamalar carried a
retraction and an apology the following day.
report as it was published in Dinamalar clearly offended against ethics
and good taste,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park said.
no doubt that the publication of the names and photographs of prominent public figures in relation to serious offences based on the strength of
a supposed confessional statement is not ethical journalism.
as with any media-related dispute, it is entirely unnecessary for the
authorities to use criminal law mechanisms to arrest the paper’s news editor.”
city police arrested Lenin shortly after prominent figures from the Tamil film
industry denounced him – and, according to media reports, the profession of
journalism itself – at a public meeting on October 7. Film industry lobbies had
also reportedly intervened at the highest political levels of the state
been charged with offences under a state law preventing the harassment of
The Editors’ Guild of India, the Madras
Reporters’ Guild, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, the Tamil Nadu Press
Photographers’ Association and the All Media Journalists’ Association, have
joined the Chennai-based Madras Union of Journalists in demanding Lenin’s
immediate and unconditional release.
calls upon the leaders of the Tamil film industry to accept the retraction and
apology offered by the newspaper in good faith and seek redress for any
residual grievance that may exist through processes of civil law.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries