Arunachal: A resolution against the rampant misuse of ‘Sedition Law’ in India, which was moved by the Indian Journalists’ Union before the International Federation of Journalists Congress, was unanimously voted and adopted with a full majority.

The resolution was moved by Arunachal Pradesh-based journalist Amar Sangno on behalf of the Indian Journalist Union at the World Congress for the International Federation of Journalists, which was held in Muscat from May 31 to June 3.

“Taking cognisance on rampant misuse of laws such as sedition, defamation and unlawful activities acts, I on behalf of IJU moved a resolution before the IFJ Congress. Which was unanimously voted and adopted by the Congress,” Amar Sangno said.

Notably, the Right to Free Speech and Expression and citizens’ Right to Information are critical to any democratic society, and the dissent and criticism of governments and their various authorities is not an offence and is indispensable to democracy.

According to the union, the dangerous trend in the world’s largest democracy, India, in the recent past has witnessed the ruling party deliberately misusing laws such as defamation and worse draconian ‘sedation law’, falling under section 124A of the IPC, a non-bailable offence, against journalists for their critical appraisal of the governments’ handling of Covid-19 situation and over year-long farmers peaceful agitation.

The union also stated regarding the sustained operation to harass journalists in Kashmir, in the form of either summoning them to police stations or CID, filing false cases and even detaining them, or having their houses raided, their gadgets seized to instil a nagging sense of fear or obstructing them from reporting events.

Expressing serious concern, Congress joined in solidarity and called upon the governments to desist from such sinister practices, which have chilling effects on journalists, indirectly invoke self-censorship and impact the free press.

The Congress also urged the Executive Committee to come to their aid and encourage journalists to put the global spotlight by raising attacks against them in international forums, providing legal aid to victims, and considering joining hands with legal professionals and organisations to aid pro bono.

Also read: Defence infra set up by China near India border alarming: US commander



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