4 June 2008

Alert

Daily facing "sedition" and "conspiracy" charges


Incident details

newspaper(s)

legal action

This is available in:

English Français
(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has condemned a case brought by police in Ahmedabad, capital of Gujarat state, western India, against the "Times of India" for "sedition" and "criminal conspiracy" - charges which amount to serious threats to state security.

City Police chief, OP Mathur, recently posted to Ahmedabad, laid a complaint against the editor of the city edition, a correspondent and a photographer on the national daily after it published articles casting doubt on his ability to protect the population from terrorism and organised crime.

The police chief said that the journalists had broken sections 124a (sedition) and 120b (criminal conspiracy) of Indian criminal law, by questioning his integrity and authority. Anyone found guilty of such threats to state security risks a prison sentence of several years and even the death penalty.

The Editors Guild of India condemned the move saying, "Abuse of the sedition provision against the media negates the freedom granted to citizens by the Constitution". Journalists demonstrated in support of press freedom on 2 June 2008 in front of the city's main police station.

Spokesman for the Congress Party and Member of Parliament, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, strongly condemned the police chief's action. "Neither dissent nor disagreement, not even strong criticism, amounts to sedition". Police officers "should not suffer from illusions of grandeur by equating themselves with the nation", he added, advising the police chief to "relearn the law".



Source

Reporters Without Borders
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris
France
rsf (@) rsf.org
Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
India

IFEX members working in this country 1

 
More from India
  • India: Pursuing truth in the face of intolerance

    PEN International's freedom of expression report on India

  • Freedom on the Net 2017: India

    The Supreme Court recognized privacy as a fundamental right in a landmark ruling in August 2017

  • Freedom of the Press 2017: India

    In May, the Supreme Court ruled to retain criminal defamation, despite calls for decriminalization.

 
More from Asia & Pacific
  • TRUTH VS MISINFORMATION: THE COLLECTIVE PUSH BACK

    SOUTH ASIA PRESS FREEDOM REPORT 2018-2019

  • The Campaign for Justice: Press Freedom in South Asia 2013-14

    Journalism in South Asia is far from an easy profession, as the 12th annual review of journalism in the region "The Campaign for Justice: Press Freedom in South Asia 2013-14" portrays. But this year's report also tells the story of the courage of South Asia's journalists to defend press freedom and to ensure citizens' right to information and freedom of expression in the face of increasing challenges to the profession and personal safety.

  • THE STORIES WOMEN JOURNALISTS TELL: Women in Media in South Asia

    The report is the first created by the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) looking specifically at the experience of women journalists in the South Asia sub-region