INDIA GREENS PARTY
Unchir-Dunktok, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, 3 May 2022: Reminding the governments in the country of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom, the India Greens Party (iGP) today said surveillance will harm the safety of journalists by disclosing sensitive private information, which could be used for arbitrary judicial harassment or attack.
In a press statement issued here at the national head office (NHO) of the iGP on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day today, the party said the Day serves as an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom around the world, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
The 2022 theme for the day is Journalism Under Digital Siege. The theme intends to highlight the multiple ways in which surveillance and digitally mediated attacks endanger journalists and journalism.
The Co-Presidents of the party, Ms Nazeema and Mr Rajendra Minj, said surveillance can expose information gathered by journalists, including from whistle-blowers, and violates the principle of source protection, which is universally considered a prerequisite for freedom of the media and is enshrined in the UN Resolutions.
The Chief Spokesperson of the party, Prabhath Prabhakaran, said surveillance may also harm the safety of journalists by disclosing sensitive private information, which could be used for arbitrary judicial harassment or attack.
The Founder, Patron and Mentor of the party, Suresh Nautiyal, said the World Press Freedom Day reminds governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. The day further serves as an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom around the world, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
In the meanwhile, the iGP expressed anger at the increasing number of attacks on the media and demanded that a comprehensive law be immediately enacted to protect media persons from arbitrary arrests and prosecutions, so that they can fearlessly fight for and uphold free speech, democracy, and press freedom.
“There is also an urgent need for a broad-based Media Council for the entire media to replace the ineffective Press Council,” the party added.
“It is regrettable that the journalists in India continue to face multiple challenges from open fascism, administrative and police excesses including jailing of journalists, false cases, raids, internet shutdowns, spyware, increasing moves to ‘regulate’ digital social media, trolling, widespread sexism and abuse, besides job losses and the dismantling of labour laws. Endless judicial delays deny us justice for years together. Yet many intrepid media persons carry on speaking truth to power,” the iGP pointed out.
The government also needs to look into the plight of approximately 3,000 journalists who lost their jobs in the lockdown during the first wave of Covid-19. Many of them were pushed towards poverty. Legal challenges to some retrenchments are pending in the courts but will take years to yield results. Fast track courts need to be formed to decide such labour matters.
– Issued by the iGP Chief Spokesperson Prabhath Prabhakaran.
(India Greens Party is registered with the Election Commission of India under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Registration Number: 56/476/2018-19/PPS-I, effective from 18/07/2019.)
National Head Office: GreenDham AnandiChait, IndraBalbhadra Parisar, Unchir-Dunktok, PO-Ghurdauri, Patty-Idwalsyun, Distt-Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, INDIA. PIN-246194.