PUCL condemns searches at Newsclick

They said the attack is part of a larger witch-hunt that has been ongoing against Newsclick.

Published - October 04, 2023 03:03 am IST - New Delhi 

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has condemned the Delhi searches on journalists and media houses. The organisation urged the Centre to stop criminalising journalists and intimidating the media. 

In a statement, PUCL leaders Kavita Stivastava and V. Suresh condemned the search on journalists connected with Newsclick and other media professionals. “It is shocking that the police are investigating a case under draconian terror sections 13,16, 17, 18 and 22C of the UAPA and sec. 153 (A) (hate speech) and 120 (B) (conspiracy) of IPC against media professionals. The searches have happened in more than 30 locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad today (Tuesday),” the statement said. 

They said the attack is part of a larger witch-hunt that has been ongoing against Newsclick. “This search comes at a time when all the cases against Newsclick and Prabir Purkayastha have been listed next week before the Delhi High Court, which has passed an order that no coercive action should be taken against him. In order to influence public opinion and the court, these searches have been carried out,” the statement added. 

“What is alarming is the manner in which the Delhi Police seized all the data in the journalists’ electronic devices, in several instances, without even providing a hash value, thereby compromising the integrity of their data and violating their privacy and the identity of their sources. This is an egregious assault on the right to privacy, the right to dignity, as well as the freedom of journalists to practice their profession fearlessly,” it added. 

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