India rejects journalist harassment

Journalists in Pakistan have vowed protests, including a sit-in outside parliament on March 1 against a recently promulgated ordinance introducing controversial amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA). PHOTO|UNESCO.

India has rejected as “baseless and unwarranted” allegations of judicial harassment of journalist Rana Ayyub, saying that the country upholds the rule of law and “no one is above the law”.

Reacting strongly, the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva said in a tweet that India expects Special Rapporteurs of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to be “objective and accurately informed” and “advancing a misleading narrative only tarnishes @UNGeneva ‘s reputation”.

“Allegations of so-called judicial harassment are baseless & unwarranted. India upholds the rule of law, but is equally clear that no one is above the law. We expect SRs to be objective & accurately informed. Advancing a misleading narrative only tarnishes @UNGeneva ‘s reputation,” it said.

Sources said this will be followed up by a Note Verbale from India’s Permanent Mission in Geneva. They will also take it up with the UN Office in Geneva, the sources added.

Earlier, UN Geneva had said in a tweet that “sectarian attacks online against journalist” should be “thoroughly investigated”.

“Relentless misogynistic and sectarian attacks online against journalist @RanaAyyub must be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the #Indian authorities and the judicial harassment against her brought to an end at once, stress @UN_SPExperts,” it said in a tweet.

The Enforcement Directorate had last week attached Rs 1.77 crore of Rana Ayyub in a money laundering case.

According to an ED official, Ayyub allegedly utilized the parts of donations meant for three campaigns for personal expenses.

“She allegedly didn’t utilize donations meant for three campaigns for the right purpose. Parts of donations were allegedly used for personal expenses,” the official said.

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