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
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.
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
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.
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.”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries
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