Muslim Journalists Systematically Targeted in India
In mid-February, the Indian Muslim journalist Junaid Khan, his wife and three daughters were on their way to a family visit in Surat city in the northern state of Gujarat, where he was suddenly attacked and stabbed to death by four people in front of his wife and daughters.
The incidents came as part of the systematic attacks faced by Indian Muslim journalists in light of a growing “Islamophobia” across the country.
The journalist Rabia Shirin describes Muslim journalists’ situation as “very sad”, stressing that Muslim journalist “must bear a lot to reveal the truth behind Muslim persecution in the country that claims to be the world’s largest democracy.”
For his part, the journalist Muhammad Irshad affirmed that Indian Muslim journalists are receiving threats on a daily basis on the streets, on TV programmes, through e-mails, and on social media.
In its “India Press Freedom Report 2021, Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) stated that at least six journalists were killed and 121 journalists/media houses including 108 journalists and 13 media houses/newspapers were targeted in India over the past year.
India’s ranking in the World Press Freedom Index has fallen down to 150th position from last year’s 142nd rank out of 180 countries, according to a report by a global media watchdog released.
Over the past years, several Indian Muslim activists and journalists were detained. Others’ houses were razed as part of systematic genocide.
Therefore, we call on the Indian authorities to stop targeting and prosecuting journalists and critics for their work. We also call on the international community to stand firmly against such violations that aim at muzzling independent media.