PEN International study states that freedom is at stake in Modi regime

Updated: Sep 30, 2018, 11:48 IST | Agencies

PEN International report claims Indian democracy at risk as violence and harassment at peak

PEN International study states that freedom is at stake in Modi regime
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a press conference in New Delhi. Pic/PTI

India has witnessed a rising tide of violence, impunity, extended pre-trial detentions, and surveillance under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government, PEN International, said on Saturday as it wound up the 84th PEN International Congress with representation from 80 countries in Pune. The International writers' body called upon the Indian government to safeguard freedom of expression in the country.

The report titled, "India: Pursuing truth in the face of intolerance" outlines how dissenting voices, by journalists, writers, academics or students "face intimidation, harassment, prosecution, online abuse, and physical violence."

"Laws that stifle speech; an environment hostile to dissenting views; and emboldened critics online and in the real world have cast a chill over free expression in India. Journalists and writers have been sued, intimidated, threatened, and sometimes murdered," said Salil Tripathi, Writers in Prison Committee Chair.

President Jennifer Clement of PEN said, "The government should be thinking about the things that bring people together and not tear them apart. India has always been a country that one could uphold for being tolerant and being democratic. It's very sad to see this turn."

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