While stating that DIGIPUB “firmly stands with Zubar”, it urged the Delhi Police to “immediately” withdraw the case.
New Delhi: DIGIPUB News India, a foundation formed by digital media organizations with the intent to help ensure the creation of a healthy and robust news ecosystem for the digital age, condemned the arrest of journalist and Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair by the Delhi Police, and called it “unjustifiable” to use “stringent laws” to go after journalists.
Zubair was arrested on On Monday, June 27, evening, by Delhi Police’s special cell in connection with a tweet he posted in 2018. Police booked him for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity after the complainant in the case accused him of “deliberately insulting the god of a particular religion”.
Reacting to this, DIGIPUB said, “In a democracy, where every individual possesses the right to freedom of speech and expression. It is unjustifiable that such stringent laws are being used as tools against journalists, who have been accorded the role of playing watchdog against the misuse of the institutions of the state.”
Digipub condemns in the strongest possible terms the arrest of Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of Alt News. pic.twitter.com/POYEaGIdAI
— DIGIPUB News India Foundation (@DigipubIndia) June 27, 2022
While stating that DIGIPUB “firmly stands with Zubair”, it urged the Delhi Police to “immediately” withdraw the case.
It said that this is the sixth such FIR (first information report) filed against Zubair in the past two years.
Earlier Zubair was booked by police in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh’s Khairabad after he called Hindutva leaders Yati Narsighanand, Mahesh Bajrang Muni, and Anand Swaroop hatemongers in his tweet.
According to Pratik Sinha, another co-founder of the Fact-checking news outlet, he and Zubair were summoned by Delhi Police’s special cell on Monday, June 27, in connection with a 2020 case for which Zubair already had protection from the high court.
However, Sinha added, the Delhi Police arrested Zubair on Monday evening in connection with “some other FIR [first information report] for which no notice was given”. Sinha alleged that despite repeated requests, no FIR copy was presented to them.
“After the medical examination, Zubair is being taken to an undisclosed location. Neither Zubair’s lawyers nor I am being told where. We are in the police van with him. No police person is wearing any name tag.”Sinha tweeted.
Moreover, The Editors Guild also condemned the arrest and demanded that the Delhi Police to immediately release Muhammad Zubair.
The Editors Guild of India condemns the arrest of Muhammad Zubair, co-founder of the fact checking site AltNews, by the Delhi Police on June 27, for a tweet from 2018. EGI demands that the Delhi Police should immediately release Muhammad Zubair. pic.twitter.com/q9uYqFxaPA
— Editors Guild of India (@IndEditorsGuild) June 28, 2022
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