Ghaziabad attack: DIGIPUB condemn FIR against journalists and The Wire
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Ghaziabad attack: DIGIPUB condemn FIR against journalists and The Wire

Newsdesk |
June 17, 2021

DigiPub, a collective of digital media organisations, has strongly condemned the FIR filed against three journalists – Saba Naqvi, Rana Ayyub, Mohammad Zubair and The Wire for their tweets about a video in which an elderly Muslim man in Ghaziabad is seen describing the manner in which he was assaulted on June 5.


New Delhi 17 June, 2021

The tweets in question were about what the Muslim man, Abdul Samad, had alleged: that he had been beaten up and forced to chant "Jai Shri Ram". The journalists and The Wire were accused of "provoking communal sentiments" and posting tweets without "verifying facts". The Ghaziabad police had ruled out a communal angle.

Read the full statement below:

Digipub strongly condemns the case filed by the Uttar Pradesh Police against three journalists – Saba Naqvi, Rana Ayyub, Mohammad Zubair –  and The Wire for their tweets about a video in which an elderly Muslim man in Ghaziabad is seen describing the manner in which he was assaulted on June 5.

The FIR, which also names three political activists and Twitter, pertains to information that was reported widely by several media houses and relayed on social media by hundreds of users.

The Uttar Pradesh Police later disputed the claims the man is seen to make in the video. In keeping with standard journalistic practice, the official version was also reported.

The list of individuals and organisations in the police case makes it clear that the authorities are targeting journalists and publications perceived to be critical of the ruling party.

The implications of this case go beyond those who have been accused here: the Uttar Pradesh Police is holding out a threat to those who report the voices of victims of crimes. It is attempting to create an atmosphere in which all journalists and news organisations will be dissuaded from reporting anything but the official version.

This is only the latest in a series of attacks on the media by the authorities in Uttar Pradesh. The mala fide nature of the case undermines the right to free expression guaranteed by Constitution.

Digipub, an association of more than 60 independent digital publications, urges the state of Uttar Pradesh to withdraw the case immediately and to allow news publications to do their job without fear of reprisal. Failing to do so will be a mockery of India’s commitment to the values of democracy.

DIGIPUB Statement


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