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Government warns media against "publication of certain objectionable material"

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

IFJ Urges Jammu and Kashmir Government to Reconsider Ad Spending Conditions

The IFJ and its affiliate organisation, the National Union of Journalists (India), are concerned to learn that the government in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has sent out an advisory to all media organisations within its jurisdiction, warning against the "publication of certain objectionable material."

Recipients of the Jammu and Kashmir government advisory have been put on notice that they are to "refrain from publication of such objectionable and seditious material."

Failure to comply, in terms of the advisory, would constrain the Jammu and Kashmir state government to "take action" under rules already notified. These allow for the withdrawal of official advertising from non-compliant media organisations.

The government restrictions come as nominations open in state assembly elections amid calls for a boycott by certain political elements.

"The use of a term such as 'sedition' in official notifications involving the press is a matter of serious concern for all journalists," said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.

"We urge the Jammu and Kashmir government to delink their ad placement policy from the editorial stance of particular newspapers in the interests of genuine media freedom."

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries.

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