Journalists shouldn’t be jailed for “what they write”: UN chief’s spokesman on Zubair’s arrest in India
Journalists should not be jailed for "what they write, what they tweet and what they say" and it is important that people be allowed to express themselves freely without the threat of any harassment, a spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said.
The spokesperson's comments came while referring to the arrest of Indian portal Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair on June 27, 2022 for an "objectionable tweet" he had posted in 2018 against a Hindu deity.
"I think, first of all, in any place around the world, it is very important that people be allowed to express themselves freely, journalists be allowed to express themselves freely and without the threat of any harassment," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, said on Tuesday while responding to a question at the daily news briefing on Zubair's arrest, our New Delhi correspondent reports.
"Journalists should not be jailed for what they write, what they tweet and what they say. And that goes for anywhere in the world, including in this room," Dujarric said in response to another question by a Pakistani journalist on whether he is also calling for Zubair's release from custody.
New York-based non-profit NGO Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has also condemned Zubair's arrest.
"The arrest of journalist Mohammad Zubair marks another low for press freedom in India, where the government has created a hostile and unsafe environment for members of the press reporting on sectarian issues," Steven Butler, CPJ's Asia programme coordinator, in Washington, said.
He demanded immediate and unconditionally release Zubair.