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“Internal Matter,” Says India As German Foreign Ministry Invokes Zubair’s Arrest

The Indian government, reacting sharply to the criticism by German Foreign Minister over journalist Mohammed Zubair’s arrest, today said it was India’s “internal issue” and it was needless to comment on a case that is before the court.

Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for the Indian foreign ministry, said: “This is our internal matter. The matter is before the court. Our legal system is independent. Any comment on it is unhelpful. It’s not right.”

Earlier, German foreign ministry had given a strong statement on the detention of Mohammed Zubair.

A German foreign ministry spokesperson, while answering questions from mediapersons, had said: “Free reporting is beneficial to any society and restrictions are a cause for concern. Journalists should not be persecuted and imprisoned for what they say and write. We are indeed aware of this specific case and our embassy in New Delhi is monitoring it very closely.”

The spokesperson further informed that the European Union had an ongoing human rights dialogue with India and “the freedom of expression and freedom of the press” are a focus of those discussions.

“India describes itself as the world’s largest democracy. So one can expect democratic values like freedom of expression and freedom of the press to be given the necessary space there,” the German Foreign Ministry spokesperson had asserted.


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