IFJ Calls for Transparency in Case of Arrested Journalist

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) calls on the police in the western Indian city of Mumbai to reveal full

details of the grounds on which senior journalist Jigna Vora was arrested on

charges of conspiracy, murder and involvement in organised crime.

 

Vora, deputy bureau chief in Mumbai

with Asian Age, was arrested on November 25 on charges of involvement in

the June 11 murder of senior investigative journalist Jyotirmoy Dey. Her arrest came just days

before ten other individuals detained in connection with the murder were

formally charged.

 

Vora was produced before a special

court dealing with prosecution of organised crime cases in Mumbai on November

26 and was since remanded to police custody. She was transferred to judicial

custody on December 9. Formal charges are yet to be made against her.

 

The charge sheet against twelve

other suspects in the murder, including two who have evaded arrest so far, was

filed on December 3. Mumbai police have sought a December 20 deadline to

complete investigations against Vora and bring formal charges against her.

 

Analysts point

out that the nature of the evidence against Vora has never been fully

explained by Mumbai police. There have been several and often contradictory

indications of how she was involved with organised crime syndicates in Mumbai

and abroad, but no suggestion of a credible motive for her involvement in Dey’s

murder.

 

Asian Age issued a formal

statement shortly after her arrest, defending her integrity and vowing to stand

by her. The resident editor of the newspaper in Mumbai, Hussain Zaidi, later

resigned his post as a gesture of solidarity with his detained colleague.

 

“The IFJ calls on Mumbai police to

follow a policy of transparency in this matter involving a senior journalist,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“The strategy of selectively leaking

information and fuelling media speculation could cause serious damage to

journalistic morale as also the credibility of the profession.

 

“We urge Vora’s newspaper and

colleagues to ensure the highest level of scrutiny over the investigation and

prosecution so that she is afforded every reasonable opportunity to clear her

name.”

 

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

Find the

IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific