Editors Guild demands release of 3 Manipur journalists

Their recent arrests under sedition and UAPA charges a violation of freedom of speech, it says

The Editors Guild of India on Monday called for the immediate release of three journalists of the website The Frontier Manipur, terming their recent arrests under sedition and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) charges are a violation of the freedom of speech.

“The Editors Guild of India considers the recent arrest of a writer and two editors of Manipur website The Frontier Manipur under the Indian Penal Code applicable to sedition and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) as a brazen violation of every constitutional safeguard given for freedom of expression,” an EGI statement said.

The guild said it was worrying that the Manipur police had arrested website’s editor-in-chief Sadokpam Diren, executive editor Paojel Chaoba and writer M. Joy Luwang under anti-terror laws for an article analysing politics in the State.

“The EGI believes that till the police is not nuanced in fundamental rights and various Supreme Court judgments on the imperative to protect freedom, no media organisation is safe from the irrational use of these laws. This is not the first time the administration has used draconian laws like sedition and UAPA against editors and journalists.”

The guild said journalists in Manipur had been targeted and arrested for critical social media posts in the past.

“The EGI demands the immediate release of the editors and withdrawal of these cases that pose a threat to free expression, and to democracy itself.”

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