21 October 1998


Two journalists assaulted

Incident details

Pradeep Behera, Zahid Khan



(RSF/IFEX) - RSF is protesting an assault on two journalists in north-east
India. According to RSF's information, on 17 October 1998, Pradeep Behera, a
senior journalist with the English-language daily "Arunachal Times", was
assaulted by six unidentified persons armed with lethal weapons who entered
his home in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. He is in hospital suffering from
chest, head and leg injuries. It seems that the attack followed the
publication of critical articles on social issues.

Meanwhile, in the state of Manipur, policemen stole 7,000 rupees (about 170
US dollars) from Zahid Khan, an associate editor of the monthly "Anouba
Yawol". As the journalist was on his way to a place called Lilong, a police
sub-inspector and other guards stopped him, took his wallet and said: "You
are a bloody pressman, you don't write anything good for the people."

Background Information

At the beginning of October, the government of the state of Manipur ordered
the local media not to publish or broadcast statements by the separatist
guerillas. This decision has contributed to greater police violence against
independent journalists (see IFEX alert of 6 October 1998).

Recommended Action

Send appeals to the Prime Minister:

  • expressing concern about these new infringements of press freedom
  • reminding him that an increasing number of journalists are being
    in the north-east of India by the police and the army, or by people against
    whom no legal action is underway
  • urging him to intervene with the local authorities to ask them to do
    everything in their power to stop these arbitrary attacks and to ensure that
    journalists can work freely and
  • reminding him that this type of behaviour by the police is in complete
    contradiction with international treaties signed and ratified by India

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee
    Office of the Prime Minister
    New Delhi, India
    Fax: +91 11 301 6857

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    Reporters Without Borders
    47, rue Vivienne
    75002 Paris, France
    rsf (@) rsf.org

    Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51

    IFEX members working in this country 1

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