Editors Guild slams FIR against senior journalist, says it's 'brazen attack' on his free speech

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TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Jun 8, 2020, 22:07 IST

NEW DELHI: The

Editors Guild of India

on Monday expressed concern over the filing of FIR by Delhi Police against veteran journalist

Vinod Dua

, saying that it is a "brazen attack on his right to free speech and fair comment".
"The Guild unequivocally condemns this practice and urges the police to respect Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms rather than behave in a manner that raises questions on its independence," the Editors Guild wrote in a letter.
The Guild further added that such an action is an "instrument of harassment setting off a process that is itself a punishment.
The Guild also took note of other instances of Police heavy-handedness, saying that there is a growing tendency among police in various states to take cognisance of frivolous charges against journalists and convert them into First Information Report (FIR).
Delhi police on Friday said they have registered an FIR against Dua for allegedly "making statements conducing to public mischief" on the complaint of BJP spokesperson Naveen Kumar.
In his complaint to the Crime Branch, Kumar accused Dua of "spreading fake news" through "The Vinod Dua Show" on YouTube.
Dua was also accused by Kumar of "misreporting" on the Delhi communal violence and stating that the "central government had done nothing to stop the violence".
Kumar has alleged that Dua had called the prime minister "toothless".

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