World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - India, 11 March 2020

Protest Campaign - India, 11 March 2020

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His Excellency Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India

11 March 2020


Your Excellency,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our deep concern at reports of violence and hostility towards journalists covering the recent protests and riots related to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Delhi and elsewhere in the country. 

According to reports, several journalists have been hospitalised because of the severity of their injuries sustained while attempting to cover protests and clashes between rioting mobs and other groups on the streets of Delhi.

We are particularly concerned by reports that journalists are being specifically targeted by mobs and rioters and note the concerns of The Editors Guild of India that journalists are being targeted for physical attacks. We are aware that some journalists have been warned by protesters not to take out their phones or recording equipment to document what is going on, and that reporters’ photos and videos have been deleted.

We are also deeply concerned by reports that journalists are being asked to “prove” their religious beliefs to angry mobs.

It is clear that journalists are being impeded in their work and are not being adequately protected by law enforcement. This is by no means the first time that journalists have been subject to violence during protests and clashes. In December 2019, Reporters Without Borders called attention to police violence against journalists covering protests against the CAA, while the Editors Guild of India condemned acts of violence and brutality committed by police forces against members of the media in various parts of the country.

We respectfully remind you that it is the responsibility of the state to provide conditions in which journalists are able to carry out their work, free from violence. We echo the sentiment expressed by the Indian Women’s Press Corp, Press Club of India and Press Association, that if journalists are not able to do their job, society will suffer from a lack of credible, reliable information.

We call upon you to denounce violence and brutality against journalists, and to remind law enforcement that it is their duty to ensure a safe working environment for reporters on the ground.


We look forward to a response at your earliest convenience.



Fernando De Yarza Lopez-Madrazo
President, WAN-IFRA


Warren Fernandez
President, World Editors Forum




Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2020-03-11 15:44

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WAN-IFRA has written to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for greater protections for journalists in the aftermath of recent civil unrest and following reports of violence targeting journalists reporting from the scene of disturbances.


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2020-03-11 14:58

In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...