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Indian police to charge broadcaster for rape interview

Last month's gang rape of a 23-year-old student provoked debate across India about the routine mistreatment of women and triggered daily protests demanding action. (AP/Aijaz Rahi)

New York January 4, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in India to refrain from pressing charges against a media group that televised an interview with the companion of the Delhi rape victim who died last week. The December 16 case has garnered global attention.

"This is an instance of greatly misplaced priorities. Authorities are hardly protecting the victim's rights by retaliating against news media that are bringing to light details of the horrific crime that claimed her life," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator. "Police should immediately drop their misguided plan to file charges."

In an interview with Zee News broadcast today, the man, using an alias, spoke of the brutality of the crime as well as the ineptitude of the police response to the victims, who were dumped by a roadside. Zee's interviewer referred to the man as Abhimanyu, comparing him to the hero from the Hindu epic Mahabharata.  Police said Zee would still be charged under laws pertaining to disclosure of identity in a rape case, local media reported.

New Delhi police said they would charge the broadcaster under section 228(A) of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with the disclosure of identity of victims of certain crimes, including rape, according to The New York Times. A conviction could carry a penalty of up to two years in jail, local media reported.

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