• Thursday, Nov 26, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:11 am

CPJ condemns harassment of journalists in India, Malaysia

  • Published at 06:20 pm July 14th, 2020
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In a separate statement, the CPJ urged Malaysian authorities to cease investigating Al-Jazeera staffers and stop using legal threats to harass the media

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Monday condemned the harassment of journalists reporting on corruption in the Indian state of West Bengal, and urged the Malaysian government to stop investigating Al-Jazeera journalists.

“West Bengal authorities must immediately release journalists Suraj Ali Khan and Safikul Islam, as well as Islam’s wife, Alima Khatun, and drop all the charges against them and investigations into their work,” CPJ said in a statement.

On June 29, police arrested Khan and Islam at Islam’s home in Arambagh, in the Hoogly district of West Bengal, for alleged extortion, and also arrested Khatun, their lawyers Pintu Karar and Samim Ahammed told CPJ over phone.

Khan works as a reporter and Islam as an editor and owner at Arambagh TV, a news channel on YouTube that has about 130,000 followers, their lawyers said. Police also detained Islam and Khatun’s two children during the arrests, but later released them, Ahammed said. 

In a separate statement, the CPJ urged Malaysian authorities to cease investigating Al-Jazeera staffers and stop using legal threats to harass the media.

On July 10, Malaysian police interrogated six reporters and staff members of the Qatari broadcaster in relation to a July 3 documentary, “Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown,” aired on the news program “101 East,” about the arrests of undocumented migrants, according to news reports.

Officials claimed the 25-minute report was inaccurate, misleading, and unfair, according to a report by Al-Jazeera.

 “Malaysian authorities should cease their witch hunt against Al-Jazeera and stop using legal threats to harass their reporters and staff members,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. 

“Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government should stop treating journalists as criminals and allow the press to report on issues of public interest without fear of reprisal.”

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