RRAG report shows rising attack on press freedom

At 6 journalists killed last year; J&K scribes most vulnerable

Shillong, Feb 2: At least six journalists were killed and 121 mediapersons and media houses were targeted in 2021, said a report released by the Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) on Wednesday.

In the report titled India Press Freedom Report 2021, RRAG said the highest number of journalists/media organisations targeted was in Jammu and Kashmir (25), followed by Uttar Pradesh (23); Madhya Pradesh (16); Tripura (15); New Delhi (8); Bihar (6); Assam (5); Haryana and Maharashtra (4 each); Goa and Manipur (3 each); Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal (2 each); and Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Kerala (1 each).


Eight female journalists faced arrest, summon and registration of FIRs.

“The widespread attacks on the press freedom from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to Tripura are an indicator of continuing deterioration of civic space in the country. The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 is an affirmation of the government’s intent to crackdown on the media freedom,” said Suhas Chakma, director of RRAG.

During 2021, FIRs against 44 journalists were registered including in some cases multiple FIRs against the same journalists in multiple states.

Uttar Pradesh reported the highest registration of FIRs with nine followed by six each in Delhi and J&K and three in Bihar, among others. Out of the 44 journalists, FIRs were filed against 21 journalists under Section 153 of the IPC relating to promoting enmity.

In 2021, at least 24 journalists were allegedly physically attacked, threatened, harassed and obstructed from doing their professional works by public officials including police across the country. Out of the 24 journalists, 17 were allegedly beaten by police. Physical attacks on journalists by police were mainly reported from Jammu and Kashmir.

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