by Muslim Mirror Staff
In a recent advertisement published in The Washington Post, six global journalist organizations expressed concerns about press freedom in India, coinciding with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States, including a scheduled visit to the White House.
The advertisement highlighted the plight of Indian journalists reportedly facing various forms of attacks, such as physical violence, harassment, fictitious litigation, and hate campaigns on social media.
The advertisement featured the photographs of six journalists currently detained in India, namely Asif Sultan, Fahad Shah, Irfan Mehraj, Gautam Navlakha, and Rupesh Kumar.
A full-page ad by CPJ and partner organizations in the @washingtonpost on Wednesday highlights the #pressfreedom crisis in #India ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official state visit to the @WhiteHouse.@wppressfreedom @RSF_inter @globalfreemedia @IWMF @JamesFoleyFund pic.twitter.com/nSpVH21NPw
— CPJ Asia (@CPJAsia) June 21, 2023
“India is the world’s largest democracy, yet it is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media,” it said.
“Press freedom is under increasing threat, with journalists facing physical violence, harassment, bogus lawsuits, and hate campaigns on social media.”
The ad also said, “leaders around the world who value democracy must urge those in power in India to stop the threats against journalists there”.
On June 14, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement urging the United States government to address the issue of press freedom in India. The CPJ called on the US government to use its influence to encourage India to put an end to its crackdown on media and release the six journalists who were allegedly detained arbitrarily as a form of retaliation for their work.
“Since Prime Minister Modi came to power in 2014, there has been an increasing crackdown on India’s media,” said CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg.
“Journalists critical of the government and the BJP party have been jailed, harassed, and surveilled in retaliation for their work. India is the world’s largest democracy, and it needs to live up to that by ensuring a free and independent media–and we expect the United States to make this a core element of discussions.”
The statement by CPJ aligns with the concerns expressed by 75 Democrats, including senators and members of the House of Representatives, who had written a letter to President Biden earlier in the week.
The letter urged President Biden to raise concerns about press freedom, internet access, and religious intolerance in India during his discussions with Prime Minister Modi.