Narendra Modi

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Police officers wield batons against a man for breaking lockdown rules after India ordered a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of coronavirus in New Delhi, India, on March 25, 2020. On March 31, the Indian Supreme Court denied a government request for prior censorship of coronavirus news. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)

Indian Supreme Court denies government request for prior censorship of COVID-19 news

New Delhi, March 31, 2020 – The Indian government should stop trying to censor news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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Indian security personnel check the identity of a motorist during a curfew in Srinagar on August 8, 2019, as widespread restrictions on movement and a telecommunications blackout are in place after the Indian government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy. (AFP/Tauseef Mustafa)

In Kashmir, obstruction, confiscated equipment, and hand-carrying stories and photos on flash drive

“You are from the press, you are not allowed,” a local Kashmiri news editor says Indian security forces told him yesterday at one of the dozens of checkpoints set up across the region.

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Indian security personnel stop people during restrictions in Srinagar, in Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir state, on August 5, 2019. Indian authorities that day blocked the internet and communications networks in the region. (Reuters/Danish Ismail)

CPJ calls on India to ensure access to internet and communications services in Kashmir

New York, August 5, 2019–The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed alarm at reports of a communication blackout and the arrest of a journalist in Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir state amid an escalating political crisis.

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Television journalists are seen outside the premises of the Supreme Court in New Delhi, India, August 22, 2017. The Indian government threatened to invoke Official Secrets Act against two news outlets on March 6, 2019. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)

Indian government threatens to invoke Official Secrets Act against news outlets

The government of Narendra Modi, through Attorney General K K Venugopal, on March 6, 2019, threatened to invoke the Official Secrets Act against daily newspaper The Hindu and news agency Asian News International (ANI) for critical reporting on a fighter jet deal in which the government has been accused of corruption, according to news reports.

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A view of the Yamuna River in New Delhi, India on January 17, 2018. Freelance journalist Rana Ayyub began receiving an onslaught of anonymous, graphic threats via social media after a parody Twitter account on April 22 falsely stated that Ayyub was a defender of child rapists, according to reports. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)

Indian freelancer receives graphic threats following false accusations against her

New Delhi, April 26, 2018–Indian authorities must immediately conduct a swift and thorough investigation into threats against the investigative freelance journalist Rana Ayyub, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Ayyub began receiving an onslaught of anonymous, graphic threats via social media after a parody Twitter account on April 22 falsely stated that Ayyub was…

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Several Indian journalists receive death threats

New Delhi, September 29, 2017–Authorities in India must move quickly to identify those responsible for sending at least five threats to kill journalists for critical coverage of the government and take steps to ensure the journalists’ security, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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CPJ welcomes Indian Supreme Court decision protecting online speech

Manila, March 24, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the judgment by the Indian Supreme Court today that struck down as unconstitutional Section 66A of the country’s Information Technology Act. Section 66A criminalized, among other types of speech, the transmission of “grossly offensive” information, as well as information for the purpose of causing “annoyance” or…

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Worrisome curbs on free speech emerge since Modi’s election

Earlier this month, Indian authorities arrested seven people for publishing a photo of India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, alongside figures such as George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, and Adolf Hitler, under the headline, “Negative Faces.” The seven, who could face lengthy prison terms if convicted, are but the latest Indians facing criminal proceedings…

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Election staff carry electronic voting machines through tea shrubs on their way to polling stations on the outskirts of the northeastern Indian city of Siliguri April 16, 2014. (Reuters)

Censorship in India on the rise amid elections

This month, Indians are voting in the largest election in history. It’s an exciting exercise in democracy, but it comes against a grim backdrop: censorship in the country is on the rise, according to a quarterly report by the South Asian media watchdog, The Hoot.

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Narendra Modi is the prime ministerial candidate for India's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in elections to be held in April. (AP/Tsering Topgyal)

Modi’s rise does not bode well for Indian press freedom

As India is set to hold elections next month, journalists covering Narendra Modi, India’s right-wing prime ministerial candidate, are reportedly coming under increased pressure online and in the newsroom for shedding critical light on him. Given these developments, free and independent reporting of the campaign is in doubt–as is the future climate for press freedom…

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