INDIA: CASR – Statement on the World Press Freedom Day

We publish a statement that we have received from the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR).


On 3rd May 2024, on International Press Freedom Day, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) expresses its concern regarding continues decline of press freedom in India, particularly its sharp decline after the BJP-RSS-Modi regime came to power in 2014. The Indian state is trying to control the media narrative in totality and transform it into a propaganda wing for the BJP’s fascist agenda, akin to the process of press control implemented by Benito Mussolini, Silvio Berlusconi and Jair Bolsonaro in Italy and Brazil. For this purpose, the Indian state is continuously increasing its attacks on journalists by way of tagging them as “Maoist-linked,” supportive of the struggles of oppressed nationalities like that in Kashmir, Nagaland, Assam, Manipur etc., linked to purported “Islamic terror” outfits or at the receiving end of foreign funding to supposedly destabilize the country. The targets of this onslaught range have led to many political prisoners from among journalists like Rupesh Kumar Singh who was working on the question of displacement of Adivasis and the Indian state’s genocidal war on people, the Kashmirwalla’s Fahad Shah who was only recently released after wrongful incarceration for reporting on fake encounters in Kashmir, Asif Sultan who regularly reported on the national liberation movement in Kashmir and was acquitted after 5 years only to be re-arrested within 24 hours last month, Siddique Kappan who was arrested and incarcerated for many years while proceeding to Hathras to report on the rape and murder of a Dalit girl, among others. There is a clear attempt to implicate, intimidate and terrorise any and every journalist who defies the manufactured narrative of the Indian state in favour of ground reporting of people’s struggles and demands.

While some are arrested or detained for prolonged periods under the draconian UAPA or Public Safety Acts, others are forced into submission via NIA and ED raids. The question of press freedom is closely associated with the overall democratic space in the country which is shrinking rapidly by way of draconian laws like UAPA and hounding agencies like NIA-ED.

Campaign Against State Repression demands the immediate release of all political prisoners, including the journalists who are incarcerated under bogus cases for their pro-people reporting. CASR urges pro-people, democratically minded journalists to join it in building a broad resistance against brahmanical Hindutva fascist Indian state’s suppression of democratic rights and dissent.

Campaign Against State Repression

(AIRSO,AISA, AISF, APCR,BASF, BSM, Bhim Army, bsCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, , DISSC, DSU, DTF, Forum Against Repression Telangana, Fraternity ,IAPL, Innocence Network,  Karnataka Janashakti, LAA,Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, , NAPM, , Nishant Natya Manch, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad,Smajwadi lok manch, Bahujan Samjavadi Mnach, SFI, United Against Hate, United Peace Alliance, WSS,Y4S)

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