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Violence, arrests and censorship in all four corners of the country

(RSF/IFEX) - 23 July 2010 - Reporters Without Borders condemns a wave of violence and censorship against the media in various parts of the country in the past few weeks, including beatings of journalists and media restrictions in Kashmir, a newspaper editor arrested in Tamil Nadu, TV stations attacked in New Delhi and Maharashtra, a journalist fatally injured in a bombing in Uttar Pradesh and a Japanese journalist denied a visa.

Armed conflict between Maoist guerrillas and government security forces is also having disturbing repercussions on journalists in the affected states, especially Chhattisgarh, under threat from both sides.

All these incidents jeopardise the safety and freedom of the media.

"The many political and social conflicts in India do not alone explain the level of violence and intolerance towards the media, especially as the state governments and the authorities in New Delhi are at least partly responsible for many of these press freedom violations," Reporters Without Borders said. "'We urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to issue a public reminder that press freedom must be enforced with the same determination throughout the country."

Editor detained in Tamil Nadu

Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of A. S. Mani, the editor of the Tamil-language magazine Naveena Netrikkan, who has been held since 19 July in Chennai, in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu. One of his colleagues told Reporters Without Borders he was arrested on the orders of Police Commissioner S. R. Jangid after publishing a story about a case of alleged corruption within the police.

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Visa cancelled

The central government has meanwhile refused to extend the visa of Shogo Takahashi, the New Delhi bureau chief of Japanese state broadcaster NHK since 2008. He has been forced to leave the country. Indian press reports said the government thought his reporting was too negative and focused too often on poverty. Takahashi had helped to produce a documentary series called "Indo no Shogeki" (The Impact of India).

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