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Editors Guild condemns UP FIRs against journalists

In a statement issued Thursday, the Guild said it condemns “this wanton misuse of laws to criminalize reporting and dissent to harass independent media and demands that the FIRs be withdrawn immediately”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 18, 2021 2:11:47 am
In the video, the man had alleged that there were five people involved in the assault. (Screengrab)

Stating that it is “deeply concerned by UP Police’s track record of filing FIRs against journalists to deter them from reporting serious incidents without fear of reprisals”, the Editors Guild of India on Thursday condemned cases registered against media platforms and journalists for their tweets on alleged assault of an elderly man from the minority community in Ghaziabad on June 5.

In a statement issued Thursday, the Guild said it condemns “this wanton misuse of laws to criminalize reporting and dissent to harass independent media and demands that the FIRs be withdrawn immediately”.

It stated, “Further, it is quite evident that the police has been discriminatory in targeting those media organizations and journalists- when thousands had tweeted the video that have been critical of the government and its policies…”

It mentioned that it is the “duty of journalists to report on the basis of sources and in case facts become contested later on, to report the emerging versions and facets”.

The FIRs were filed by UP Police against The Wire, Twitter, journalists Mohammed Zubair, Rana Ayyub and Saba Naqvi, and some Congress leaders under IPC Sections 153 (provocation for rioting), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 505 (mischief), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) against them.

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