DUJ Protests Filing of FIRs against Vinod Dua

The DUJ condemns the filing of a second FIR against veteran journalist Vinod Dua, this time in Himachal Pradesh. DUJ believes this is a misuse of the law to silence a critical voice.

The Delhi High Court had already granted Dua bail in a case lodged by BJP spokesperson Naveen Kumar on June 5, 2020. Dua is accused of having spread fake news in his YouTube show on the Delhi riots in February 2020. The FIR in Himachal Pradesh, filed by BJP leader Ajay Shyam accuses him of sedition for comments made on the same show.

Dua has approached the Supreme Court for immediate relief against arrest by the Himachal Police, who visited him on Friday morning with a notice demanding his presence in the state the next day. He has expressed his inability to do so during the lockdown.

Dua’s lawyers had argued in the Delhi court that the June 5 FIR had been lodged belatedly, 75 days after the show and there is no evidence that it provoked any public discord. The High Court has stayed the investigation.

The DUJ condemns the selective targeting of journalists for their political beliefs and observations and views these as an attack on the entire media community. We call for the quashing of all such FIRs and other attempts to intimidate journalists. We note that India’s ranking on the Press Freedom index fell two places to 142 out of 180 countries in 2020, according to the Reporters Without Borders annual index.

Press Release

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