New Delhi police have arrested Mohammad Zubair, a Muslim journalist who runs a fact-finding website Alt News.
Zubair was accused of violating religious sentiments in a Twitter message in 2018.
In that message, Zubair wrote about a hotel that changed its name from Honeymoon Hotel to Hanuman Hotel. “Hanuman” is the name of a Hindu god. The news has been interpreted as a critique of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalism.
Zubair was arrested Monday and will be remanded in custody this week.
He is now accused of “inciting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion, race, background, language, etc.”
The New Delhi Police said in a statement, “Jubair’s behavior is reprehensible and justifies his detention. He is being investigated to clarify the conspiracy.
Both Amnesty International And several media organizations are demanding the release of Zubair. Says journalist Rana Ayub BBC Jubair continued to “publish false news and report on India’s hate machines”.
– Job says the country will punish those who document his downfall.
– Revenge action of the authorities
Jubair and his website have annoyed the ruling BJP after a series of fake news reports from the party’s social media.
– Kenneth Bo Nielsen, an Indian researcher at the University of Oslo, says this is clearly an act of revenge by the authorities against a critical journalist.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have introduced more laws in favor of Hindus than any other religion. Has been during Modi’s tenure Freedom of the press in India Will become smaller and smaller, the researcher says.
– Narendra Modi’s party is well versed in social media. Here, threats and often false accusations are made against dissidents, Nielsen says.
Nielsen says the police are often subject to political control so that defamatory and threatening statements by ruling party supporters are often not punished. Critics of the regime, on the other hand, could be arrested and subjected to lengthy court proceedings.
– Even if Zubair wins this case, he will be financially ruined and will have to spend many years defending himself.
Corruption of the Prophet
#ArrestZubair Jubair has been jailed following a Twitter appeal.
The headline started on social media after Zubair released a clip from the TV debate. Here BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma has come up with a derogatory comment about the Prophet and his minor wife Ayesha.
Led to a statement Diplomatic crisis Between India and 20 Muslim countries. Two people were shot dead by police and 130 were arrested during the major protests that followed Sharma’s comments. Muslim countries withdrew their ambassadors from India.
Zubair explains that the reason he released the TV clip was because he regretted it on the TV channel.
– I was very angry with the hostess who gave her (Sharma) a stage. After she said that, no one stopped her. “I think this is bad, that’s why I tweeted this,” Zubair told Al Jazeera last week.
Afraid to speak
Zubair was one of the critics of the recently arrested regime. Became a human rights defender this weekend Teesta Seattle He was arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Police in Gujarat.
Jeevika Shiv, a lawyer and human rights activist, tells the NRK that she is afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation. Authorities are cracking down, especially on those who speak to the foreign media.
– As long as we do not harm others, our constitution gives us better freedom of speech, says Shiv, who thinks carefully about what he wants to quote.
– But we need to talk about the fact that arresting people for mentioning old Indian films and other pop cultural references is problematic.
Shiva The Twitter message refers to this week as an excuse to arrest Zubair. The news he wrote in 2018 is a reference to an old Bollywood movie.
Jivika Shiv is not a member of the minority religion. However, he did not want to be portrayed in this article for fear of being harassed by online trolls on social media.
Modis Media Director
Adults Kenneth Bo Nielsen of the University of Oslo says that the media in India is largely government-friendly. After Modi came to power, critical voices became even more difficult to escape.
– Newspapers rely on government advertising revenue, while many popular TV channels are owned by companies that support Modi’s economic policy.
The Prime Minister never answers important questions, speaks only from the platform and does not accept questions.
– Modi never comes for interview. He wants to direct the media and media reality, Nielsen says.
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