November 21, 2021

Withdraw FIRs against Journalists: AIDWA

THE All India Democratic Women Association (AIDWA), in a statement issued on November 16, expressed solidarity with journalists Samriddhi K Sakunia and Swarna Jha. They were first detained in Assam and then taken to Tripura and arrested. Both the women journalists had gone to cover communal violence in the Tripura. It has been reported in the media that they were detained for their social media posts about the communal violence. Two FIRs have been filed against them. The journalists have now been released on bail.

The journalists have also complained of intimidation and harassment by the police. Tripura government has previously charged Supreme Court lawyers under draconian UAPA who went there to assess the situation of the violence against Muslims in the state.

This kind of harassment and intimidation of journalists shows Tripura and Assam governments’ complete disregard for freedom of the press and freedom of speech guaranteed by our constitution. AIDWA also considers this an assault on women’s right to work. Such intimidation by the police discourages free and fair reportage and it is a clear attempt to cover up the truth. 

AIDWA demands immediate end to these tactics of terrorising human rights activists, lawyers and journalists by the BJP state governments of Tripura and Assam. It also demands immediate withdrawal of FIRs against the women journalists and to allow them to perform their duties.