PCI and EGI worry about threats against journalists
PCI and EGI worry about threats against journalists
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14 June, Srinagar: The situations in which journalists have been harassed, threatened, and intimidated by political figures have prompted strong condemnation from the Press Club of India (PCI) and the Editors Guild of India (EGI).

PCI said in a statement that it is “unfortunate and highly condemnable” that journalists were harassed while doing their jobs. This kind of behaviour from political leaders directly threatens journalistic freedom.

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On June 10, the state police in Kerala responded to a complaint from the Student Federation of India (SFI) by filing a First Information Report (FIR) in which the lady journalist was named as an accused party. This reporter was representing Asianet News while on assignment. The SFI accused her of trying to smear a member of the governing CPI(M)’s student organisation.

She was mentioned in the FIR and questioned by the police. While in her Lok Sabha seat of Amethi on June 9, Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs Smriti Irani threatened a journalist. The Minister is heard informing the reporter that she would contact the paper’s owner because she took it personally when the reporter asked her to say a few words. She referred to it as “the journalist’s pathetic attempt to insult her constituents.”

While this was happening, the Editor’s Guild of India (EGI) released a statement saying that this episode exemplifies “threats” that directly compromise press freedom.

It is of “deep concern” that “mere reportage on political leaders can invite a FIR and questioning by the police,” the EGI said in response to the CPI(M) government in Kerala filing a FIR against a journalist. It requested that the case against the journalist be dropped immediately by the Kerala government.

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