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India: ED raids on newsclick - Text of Statement by Press Club of India (Feb 10, 2021)

11 February

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PRESS CLUB OF INDIA
1, Raisina Road, New Delhi - 110 001, INDIA
Email: pressclubofindial[at]gmail.com, Web: presscubofindia.org
Phone No.- 23719844
23730248
23357048
Ref No.......................... Date: - .............................

Press Statement

10th February, 2021

The raid by the Enforcement Directorate on the premises of the web-based news and current affairs portal News Click, its chief editor and promoter, senior journalists and top management, on Tuesday is an unsavoury attack on the media in a bid to intimidate and silence critical journalism. This particular news group has closely covered the ongoing farmers protest, and specialises in reports on government policies on the poorer sections of society.

Publicising the charge of alleged money laundering against a small, public-spirited, news company is no way to defend democratic values and institutions, which the government proclaims to be doing, especially on the world stage.

A series of attacks on prominent journalists of the country, and also on lesser-known hard-working journalists who report from the ground in far-flung areas of the country, has regrettably becon1e the hallmark of the government.

In the past one year, numerous FlRs have been registered against journalists on the plainly specious and false charge of sedition and incitement of communal disharmony. The PCI has seen it as a duty to record its protest in all such matters.

It has been seen to be the case that vile charges against journalists and against boutique journalist groups doing ground-level work to expose communal agendas and poor people issues do not make headway in terms of investigations. Nor have they withstood judicial scrutiny. All they end up doing is give the government a bad name.

The PCI asks the government to end raid raj and false allegations raj against the media and take visible steps to ensure democratic freedoms such as free speech and right to liberty.

Sd/
Anand K Sahay
(President)
Anant Bagaitkar
(Secretary General)