Journos Hold Candlelight Vigil, Demand Release of Siddique Kappan
Image Courtesy: National Herald
Delhi: In jail despite clinching bail in a UAPA case, Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan continues to languish in jail. In protest, the National Alliance of Journalists (NAJ) and the Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ), held an emergency candlelight vigil, which was preceded by a stocktaking meeting at the DUJ premises at Connaught Circus late on Saturday night.
According to a press release, the vigil saw scribes holding placards demanding the release of Kappan and calling for an end to the “witch hunt of independent journalism and targeting of select journalists.”
“It may be recalled, that journalist Siddique Kappan has been languishing in jail since October, 2020. While the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, Delhi Unit is on a continuous legal battle to free Kappan ever since October 5, the day he was unlawfully imprisoned, the DUJ has been carrying on a phased battle supporting the demand for his release,” the release noted.
Other than Kappan’s release, the meeting also held a stocktaking meeting where various statements were recorded on the state of media today, and also on other national and international developments.
“The situation in PTI, UNI and other news establishments was also spotlighted, while members castigated the virtual witch hunt of independent journalism. The targeting of social activist and journalist Teesta Setalwad - and continuous moves against The Wire, Alt News and other independent news services were recorded,” it said.
“Office bearers expressed concern at the growing corporate-government nexus in the media resulting in government tom-tomming media. Serious concern was expressed at the declining status of Urdu journalism. Increasing communalisation of media and rumour mongering and tendency towards increasing hate speech were also condemned,” the release added.
The scribes also noted the jungle law prevailing in the newspaper industry, with pending cases of the Majithia award and others of “unfair labour practices”, pending for years. They demanded fast track labour courts for such cases in Delhi.
The meeting also rejected the Central government’s labour codes, and blasted increasing curbs on journalists covering Parliament and the continued attacks on journalists in Jammu & Kashmir. Wearing black badges, they also expressed solidarity with the demand for the release of journalist Julian Assange who will be extradited to USA soon.
DUJ is the oldest body of journalists in the national capital. It was founded in 1949.
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.