EG, PCI and IWPC concerned over violence

EG, PCI and IWPC concerned over violence

The Editors Guild of India expresses serious concern over the manner in which journalists assigned to cover the violence in Delhi have been targeted for physical attack. There are reports of journalists being hospitalized after such attack.

The Guild notes that journalists being attacked is tantamount to direct assault on press freedom and those guilty of having indulged in such violence must be brought to book.

It urges the Delhi Police to take necessary steps to provide protection to journalists and prevent any such attack in the future. It also requests the Home Ministry, under which Delhi Police functions, to investigate these incidents and punish the guilty. The Home Ministry must also direct Delhi Police to take appropriate action.

The Press Club of India and Indian Women’s Press Corps express serious concern that journalists on duty have come under attack while covering the communal violence rocking northeast Delhi since last Sunday.

Several of them have been hospitalized. They have been punched and attacked by communal mobs, and police were either absent or have not come to help. Shockingly, mobs were checking religious credentials of journalists.

A television journalist has sustained gunshot injuries. Another has been hit in the face and has several teeth missing. A woman journalist has also sustained injuries. Television media seem to have been specially targeted.

We have little doubt the attackers actively sought to prevent videography or photography that may lead to them being identified.

A lethargic police and politicians instigating communal violence cannot escape blame for attacks on the media.

A few weeks ago, journalists were physically assaulted by the police themselves when reporting the violence that attended the Jamia protests.

Earlier, police stood mutely while supporters of right-wing mobs that had attacked JNU heckled and hit journalists.

We expect the authorities, particularly the police and the Union home ministry, to be alive to democratic sensibilities and ensure that media are not brought under physical assault.

About SAWM Team

South Asian Women in Media (SAWM) is a network of women media professionals in South Asia. SAWM works for freedom of press, increased participation of women in the media, a gender-sensitive work environment and a gender-equal outlook in the media. Launched in April 2008, SAWM’s central secretariat is in Lahore, Pakistan and the association has country chapters in eight members of SAARC. SAWM helps women working in media to network across borders, and with international rights organizations, to assert their rights and defend their interests.