New Delhi, 26 August 2022: The Indian Journalists Union condemns the deportation of American journalist of India origin Angad Singh, with Vice News, back to New York within three hours of his flight landing at Delhi’s IGI Airport on August 24 night. According to a Facebook post by his mother Gurmeet Kaur “They didn’t give a reason. But we know it is his award winning journalism that scares them…” Angad, who covers South Asia for the Vice News was nominated for an Emmy award for his coverage of the devastating second Covid wave.
According to a reports, Angad was on a personal visit to see his family in Punjab. A member of family is quoted saying: “He had made a documentary on the Shaheen Bagh protest. The Government must be upset due to that documentary.” Angad has shared a number of video news reports on Twitter produced by Vice which ‘exposed flaws in India’s COVID response, too, covering topics such as overwhelmed crematoriums, oxygen shortage during the 2nd wave of COVID-19, reporting lacunae in COVID-death reporting from rural India, and more.’ Angad it was said had been denied a visa recently to make a documentary film about Dalits in the country.
In a statement, IJU President and former Member, Press Council of India Geetartha Pathak and IJU Secretary General and Vice President of International Federation of Journalists Sabina Inderjit said the action of Union Home Ministry smacks of vendetta and harassment. Singh was only doing his job and should have been allowed to visit his family as it was a personal visit. The ad hoc deportation is unacceptable in any free society and the Ministry must give reasons for its petty action.
The IJU also said it the ongoing trend of government authorities harassing and intimidating journalists is gravely disturbing. Recently, two Kashmiri journalists Aakash Hassan and Sanna Matoo were prevented at the IGI airport from flying to Sri Lanka and Paris respectively due to their work. In both cases no reason was given and exceptions are becoming a rule!