The arrest of journalist and co-founder of the fact-checker site Altnews, Mohamed Zubair, on Monday, 27 June 2022, barely a day after the arrest of journalist and anti-communalism activist Teesta Setalvad, is a chilling indicator of the state of free speech in India. Till date, at least nine […]
Enacted by MeitY in May 2021, the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules 2021.sought to both protect ‘digital Indians’ from the harms of Big Tech intermediaries and regulate the work of online publishers….They have been challenged in nineteen separate cases across the country—with specific portions stayed by multiple High Courts. A common cause for concern: they exert a chilling effect on free speech in India.
Four journalists covering the Agnipath protests in Patna were detained by police after one of them, Amir Hamza, was roughed up and shoved by a police officer. Hamza, a journalist working with a newschannel on Youtube ‘The Activist’, was arrested and is yet to get bail. Of the […]
Republished from The Leaflet with permission Hate speech vitiates the very purpose of free speech, which is the free and fearless operation of a human mind that constantly seeks answers and the truth, says Ujjaini Chatterjee Contemporary Indian democracy is at a threshold of its constitutionalism. Amidst the […]
On World Press Freedom Day , May 3, 2022, this special focus from Free Speech Collective on journalists who are in jail. Download link available below:
On May 3, on the eve of World Press Freedom Day 2022, we present FEAR OF SPEECH A short film by students of Whistling Woods International, the film, communication and creative arts institute located in Mumbai, India, done in association with Free Speech Collective. Ziva, a young journalist, […]
Gutsy Dalit journalist and founder of digital news channel ‘ The Mooknayak’, Meena Kotwal, was threatened after she posted a video of herself symbolically burning a copy of the Manusmriti, the regressive, anti-caste and patriarchal book of Vedic laws. After a major struggle with the Ambedkar Nagar police, […]
Republished from The National HeraldJournalists in India have been stopped at the airport, attacked by hindutva forces while on duty, arrested for their investigative reports. Ashlin Mathew has a detailed summary. A week after journalist Rana Ayyub was stopped from flying to London, former head of Amnesty International […]
PRESS STATEMENT March 21st, 2022 The Editors Guild of India is shocked by the manner in which an Agra based journalist, Gaurav Bansal, was arrested and allegedly tortured for reporting about electoral malpractices in the recent assembly elections. While on one hand the journalist’s lawyer has alleged that, […]
Citing national security issues, the Union government had imposed a ban on television channel Media One and the company filed an appeal before the Kerala High Court. N P Chekkutty has this report. Calicut: Media One Channel, one of the top five television news channels in Malayalam with […]
Frequent summons, arrest of journalists is having a chilling effect on journalism students and aspiring journalists in Kashmir, writes Majid Maqbool The recent closure of Kashmir Press Club (KPC) by the government following its sudden takeover, and more recent summons and arrest of journalism student and trainee reporter […]
Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has admitted an application for bail filed by journalist Siddique Kappan, who has been in jail since October 2019. The judge rejected the objection of the advocate for the state of Uttar Pradesh on the […]
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court admitted an application filed by journalist Siddique Kappan, through his wife, Rayhanath Kappan, seeking to quash the “patently illegal prosecution sanctions” to proceed against Kappan under The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act , 1967. While admitting the application on Friday, February […]
The arrest of Kashmirwalla’s founder and editor Fahad Shah on charges of sedition (IPC 124-A) and terror charges under the repressive and draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, is a chilling sign of the untrammelled powers of the administration to crack down even on the last vestiges of […]
At least 26 citizens and members of the Aravalli Bachao group were picked up by police in Gurgaon and detained for over three hours when they staged a silent peaceful protest against a waste burning plant that Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was slated to inaugurate, despite […]
By Geeta Seshu The Bengaluru police action that resulted in the cancellation of comedian Munawar Faruqui’s show in the city is shameful. More than just a caving in to right-wing pressure, it is a clear abrogation of the duty of the police to uphold law and order. On […]
“By considering the legitimate freedom of speech and expression in both its off line and on line avatars as unlawful activity, the Tripura police are overstepping the bounds of their legal authority and without any legitimate cause violating constitutionally protected rights. By asking that Mukesh and Indori remove […]
More than 100 women activists and womens’ rights organisations have expressed grave misgivings of a Bombay High Court order that effectively results in a gag of court proceedings of sexual harassment cases. Read the detailed statement submitted to the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court and Justice […]
The Siddique Kappan Solidarity Committee launched a campaign for the release of the jailed journalist, who was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, when he was on his way to Hathras village to cover the gang-rape and fatal assault on […]
The Siddique Kappan Solidarity Committee held a press conference in Calicut, Kerala, on Oct 1, 2021, to recognise that the jailed journalist is a Prisoner of Conscience and given legal support by the Kerala Government and to demand his release. Kappan was arrested, along with three others, on […]
In a surprising development, Justice Gautam Patel of the Bombay High Court has come out with a set of guidelines to deal with ‘protecting’ the identity of all parties in sexual harassment cases and also regulating the manner in which proceedings in such cases are reported. This amounts […]
The case against Andamans journalist Zubair Ahmad was quashed by Justice Shivakant Prasad of Calcutta High Court’s Circuit Bench in Port Blair , providing some sense and justice for the most absurd of the spate of cases lodged against journalists reporting on the pandemic! On April 27, 2020, […]
The Pegasus revelations have struck a body blow to privacy rights of citizens. In India, the government continues to be in denial over the purchase of spyware. The Supreme Court of India is hearings petitions filed by individuals who were targeted by surveillance and by organisations working on […]
“Democracy upholds the fundamental right to life and liberty alongside the right to freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association and movement in our country. The Supreme Court of India deemed the right to privacy as integral to the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed in Article […]
Journalists, politicians and human rights activists across the world had been spied upon by their governments using a spyware tool, ‘Pegasus’, struck at the very heart of the trust imposed by citizens on the State, especially in democracies, to safeguard their personal data and privacy.
Shyam Meera Singh said that ‘there is the freedom to murder and lynch but there is no freedom to criticise Modi or the current government; if there was freedom, why would he face termination? (Republished with permission from GauriLankeshNews). In an autocratic move, Aaj Tak, a Hindi-language news […]
The Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill 2021, by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, slated to be introduced in the upcoming session of the Parliament, is fraught with over-broad definitions, a draconian investigation process and penal provisions that defeat the very […]
Courts have once again found no substance in flimsy accusations of sedition slapped by over-zealous police, reports Anjuman Ara Begum.
This provision will effectively give the Central Government supreme power over cinema exhibition in the country potentially endangering freedom of expression and democratic dissent.
Political cartoonists keep the system honest. They chip away at the hubris of those in power by laughing at them.
Aisha Sultana granted interim anticipatory bail by Kerala High Court
Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, arrested on Oct 5 by Uttar Pradesh police and charged under sedition and UAPA sections, found some relief when the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Maant, Ram Datt Ram, dropped charges of breach of peace against him and three others. The judge said that police had […]
Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police have lodged an FIR against social media network Twitter, news portal The Wire, journalists Rana Ayyub and Saba Naqvi, Congress politicians Shama Mohamed, Salman Nizami and Maskoor Usmani and Alt news co-founder Mohammed Zubair for tweeting a horrific video of the beard of an […]
Nine months on, the Hathras rape case is itself almost forgotten and even the UP government’s abject failure in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic has receded from national headlines. Will there be any justice for journalist Siddique Kappen, who awaits a plea for bail to come up before […]
MC Kode aka Aditya Tiwari, a New Delhi based rapper has been missing since June 2nd, 2021, after receiving death threats for an old battle rap clip that went viral. His Instagram post hinting at suicide was disturbing and alarming but right-wing trolls continued to bay for his […]
An Overview. Excerpted from the South Asia Press Freedom report – 2021 (Released on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2021. Please click here to read the full report) As the second wave of the Covid pandemic surged across South Asia in early 2021, journalists […]
The year was marked by the heavy-handed use of laws of sedition, anti-terror or disaster management to quell criticism of the government whether at the Centre or in states, on journalists or civil society. This clampdown on journalists was marked during the ongoing peaceful farmers’ protest against three farms laws that has left the government more than rattled.
The tweets Twitter blocked. Inexplicable, since several images have been published in mainstream media, reproduced and shared across multiple platforms. Censorship by the government or by pliant social media platforms won’t make these images, or the reality they depict, go away. They’ve been compiled here and posted on […]
The Bombay High Court has quashed an FIR against journalist Prateek Goyal alleging trademark violation in an article filed in Newslaundry on the decision of the Sakal group in Pune to sack over fifty staffers of the Sakal Times. The court held that mere use of the registered […]
Predictably, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has closed the complaint on the arrest of journalist Siddique Kappan, jailed since October 5, 2020. Kappan, also the secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWF), was on his way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh (UP), to cover the […]
Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, Executive Editor, Kashmir TImes, delivered the 40th J.P Memorial lecture on March 23, 2020. The prestigious memorial lecture marks the day Emergency was lifted in India. In her lecture, she gives a panoramic view of the events that have occurred since the Modi regime took […]
In a major development in an ongoing hearing on a complaint against an inflammatory report, the Press Council of India (PCI) issued a bailable warrant for the arrest of the editor of daily newspaper Vijay Karnataka for failing to respond to a summons. The hearing was held on […]
(republished with permission) By Pramod Ranjan (Note: The notification of the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 have far-reaching implications for freedom of expression on the Internet and will, in the name of regulation by a three-tier mechanism overseen by government officials, […]
PUCL statement on case against environmental activists Stop the Witch Hunt! Drop all false & motivated Cases Respect the fundamental right of free speech, dissent, assembly and association!! The PUCL welcomes the order of the Delhi Sessions Court on 23.2.21, granting bail to Disha Ravi, a 21 year […]
Prominent citizens, including artists, environmental and social activists, parents, teachers, professionals, adivasis, dalits and farmers, today spoke out against the illegal and disproportionate response of the government in targeting young activists, including Disha Ravi, and the government’s intent to criminalise dissent. At a press conference organised by the […]
To imply that toolkits are some conspiracy gizmos used by foreign forces to destabilize India is as stupid as the ‘Cow was abducted by aliens’ rubbish that was aired by the same mainstream media channels that are now airing this nonsense. This controversy is baseless and has no merit.
Case against editors Mrinal Pande, Vinod Jose, Zafar Agha, Rajdeep Sardesai and Caravan owners: Fresh attack on free speech
By Geeta Seshu The right to Freedom of Expression in India has been under attack from multiple directions, the latest being the sedition case cases filed by the police in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka against Congress-I MP, Shashi Tharoor, Caravan owner Paresh Nath and senior […]
Justice Rohit Arya of the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has rejected the bail plea of stand up comedian Munawar Faruqui and said that the ‘possibility of collection of more incriminating material andcomplacency of other persons cannot also be ruled out.’ Munawar Faruqui and five […]
By Geeta Seshu Journalist Neha Dixit was no stranger to online trolling but for the last five months, the harassment took an even more sinister turn, with callers stalking her, calling up on her phone from random numbers to issue rape and death threats and also attempt to […]
On April 20, 2022, a bail application filed by journalist Siddique Kappan comes up for hearing in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. Kappan had been arrested by Uttar Pradesh police on October 5, 2020, while he was on his way to Hathras, to cover the […]