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Journalists' Unions Call out Curbs on Aakash Hassan and Defamation Suit on Ravi Nair

“These attacks constitute a continuum of attacks and threats to independent journalists and journalism in India today,” DUJ and KUWJ said.
Journalists' Unions Call out Curbs on Aakash Hassan and Defamation Suit on Ravi Nair

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: National Herald

Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) and Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), in a joint statement on Thursday, July 28, have expressed serious concerns over curbs on Kashmiri journalist Aakash Hassan and the arrest warrant against journalist Ravi Nair in an Adani defamation suit.

In the first incident, Hassan was stopped from flying to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo by immigration officials at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on Tuesday, July 26.

Immigration officials at IGI airport New Delhi barred me from boarding a flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka. I was headed to report on the current crises in the country. The immigration officials took my passport and boarding pass and have made me sit in a room for the last four hours (sic),” Hassan tweeted.

In the second incident, Nair was subjected to an arrest warrant by the Delhi Police concerning a criminal defamation suit filed against him by the Adani Group. As per the warrant, Nair is required to appear before a trial court in Gandhinagar. The astonishing thing about the warrant is that Nair wasn't made aware of the story or the social media post that prompted the defamation suit.

These attacks constitute a continuum of attacks and threats to independent journalists and journalism in India today,” the statement by DUJ President SK Pande and KUWJ Delhi Unit secretary Dhanasumod said.

Both Nair and Hassan are known for their respective journalistic works. The former has filed several investigative stories over the years which have been critical of the economic policies of the Narendra Modi government. At the same time, Hassan has contributed to international magazines such as The Guardian. He was recently nominated to the final list of One World Media Awards 2022 in the “New Voice’ category.

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