Editors Guild of India condemns FIRs against journalists

The Editors Guild of India stated on Friday condemning the action taken against senior editors and journalists, including current and former office-bearers of the guild in connection to the farmers’ protest rallies and the violence that took place on Republic Day. The statement said the journalists were specifically targeted for reporting the accounts about the death of one of the protestors on their personal social media handles as well as those of the publications they lead and represent.

The Noida police booked six journalists on Thursday over the charges of sedition, among other charges. The FIR was lodged at the Sector 20 police station following a complaint by a resident who alleged that “digital broadcast” and “social media posts” by these people were responsible for inciting the violence during a tractor rally by farmers in Delhi.

The statement, signed by the President of the Guild, Seema Mustafa and the General Secretary Sanjay Kapoor said,” It must be noted that on the day of the protest and high action, several reports were emerging from eyewitnesses on the ground as well as from the police, and therefore it was only natural for journalists to report all the details as they emerged. This is in line with established norms of journalistic practice.”

The guild has demanded that the FIRs be withdrawn immediately and the media be allowed to report “without fear and with freedom”.

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