International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) fully supports the union of
working journalists in the central Indian state of Chattisgarh in its effort to
uphold media rights when these are under increasing pressure as security forces
escalate operations against a
long-running Maoist insurgency.
to IFJ sources, three journalists in the state were recently issued notices by
police in, ordering them to reveal the sources of reports either published or
journalists working for widely circulated Hindi-language dailies – Anil Mishra
of Nai Duniya and Yashwant Yadav of Navbharat – were asked to
reveal their sources by police in the district of Dantewada, for a report
suggesting that innocent villagers were killed in an anti-insurgency operation
by security forces in a remote southern part of the state.
separate case, Rakesh Shukla, of E-TV news channel, was asked to present
himself before the local police in Kanker district, for broadcasting a Maoist
claim of responsibility for the murder of a local political figure.
police officer in the state was also reported to have sanctioned aggressive
measures, including firing at journalists who cross into Chattisgarh from
neighbouring districts of the state of Andhra Pradesh to report on
journalists’ union, the Chattisgarh Shramjeevi Patrakar Sangh (CSPS), held a
meeting on October 12 to discuss the threats. It resolved to undertake a major
campaign to generate public awareness on media freedom issues in a situation of
reminds authorities in Chattisgarh that the public has a right to be informed
about events occurring in the state, particularly in the context of the recent
escalation of anti-insurgency operations and the heightened level of political
rhetoric on the threat posed by the Maoist insurgency to national security,”
IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
rights concerns have been raised in the past in the context of anti-insurgency
operations in the state. The IFJ has previously cautioned authorities against
the tendency to view independent journalism as an enemy activity that lends
comfort to insurgent groups.
the maximum public awareness and endorsement of their security operations,
authorities in Chattisgarh need to distance themselves from this mindset,” Park
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
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