SOPA Urges Uttar Pradesh Authorities to Drop Criminal Complaints Against The Wire, Independent Journalists

SOPA, the Society of Publishers in Asia, notes with concern reports of criminal complaints filed against news outlet The Wire for its reporting on the case of an elderly Muslim man who was recently assaulted in Uttar Pradesh. Journalists Saba Naqvi, Rana Ayyub and Mohammed Zubair are also facing criminal complaints for their reporting on the case, according to press reports.   Ms. Ayyub will be a featured speaker at the SOPA Awards ceremony on June 24.

This is not the first time Indian media outlets and independent reporters have been subject of criminal complaints for reporting on news events. News reporting and sharing information about events of interest to the broad public should not be labeled a crime. We call on the authorities in Uttar Pradesh to drop these complaints and urge the Indian government more broadly to honor its commitment to press freedom.