International press org seeks immediate release of journalist Siddique Kappan

International Press Institute's Deputy Director Scott Griffen wrote that they condemn Kappan’s arrest and the “unacceptable ill-treatment” he is being subjected to.
Kerala Journalist Siddique Kappan
Kerala Journalist Siddique Kappan
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The International Press Institute (IPI), an international network that aims to protect press freedom, has spoken out against the arrest of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan and demand his release from jail. Kappan was arrested in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020 under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), among others. In an article published on its website, IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen wrote that the organisation condemns Kappan’s arrest and the “unacceptable ill-treatment” he is being subjected to.

"We are extremely concerned that Mr Kappan was targeted and detained due to his journalistic activity. In the absence of evidence justifying these accusations, all charges against Mr Kappan must be immediately dropped," Scott Griffen said. He also added that India is seeing increased muzzling of critical journalists. “The growing targeting of critical journalists in India is extremely concerning. All journalists in the country must be able to safely cover events in the public interest, without fear of harassment, detention or discrimination,” he said. 

Siddique Kappan, a journalist from Kerala, was arrested with three others in October 2020, enroute to cover the alleged gangrape and murder of a Dalit woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. He was arrested along with three others by the UP police and is alleged to be part of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and of going to Hathras to ‘disrupt peace’. After first charging him with apprehension of breach of peace, the UP Police later booked him under the UAPA and sedition laws. He has not yet been granted bail despite several appeals for the same, and the trial for the case has not yet begun. He recently lost his 90-year-old mother Khadeeja Kutty to prolonged illness. He was only allowed to visit his mother in February for five days, under supervision.

On June 15, a UP court dropped charges of breach of peace against him, after the police failed to complete the investigation within six months. After the verdict, Kappan spoke to the media for the first time since his arrest and said that the case against him is “completely fake”. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) and his wife Raihanath Kappan have been fighting for Siddique Kappan’s release since October 2020.

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