Defending the Right to Freedom of Expression & Demanding a Journalist Safety Act
On February 17th, 2019 (Sunday)
At the Gass Memorial Hall, Raipur: Chhattisgarh
Organised jointly by
Committee Against Assault on Journalists (CAAJ)
Peples’ Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Chhattisgarh & Chhattisgarh Patrakar Suraksha Kanoon Sangharsh Samiti (CPSKSS)
In association with Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
At a time when the Right to Freedom of Expression is at peril, and assault on journalists are on the increase, there is a nation-wide debate expressing concern and demanding legislation for the protection of journalists.
For the first time in India, a two-day National Convention was held on 22-23 September 2018 at the Constitution Club, New Delhi on the attack on journalists in which journalists from 18 states participated and shared their trauma.
Basic theme of the convention was to address the shrinking space of dissent and right to expression and the need of coming together of journalists and the civil society organizations. The attacks on the right to dissent and right to expression affects the journalists and the social activists alike, hence the need of the hour is that all the affected parties must come together on a common platform and fight for each other’s rights and the interests. Its report is now published.
Resolution adopted in the concluding session of National Convention Against Assault on Journalists clearly states:
“This convention that pooled in journalists from all over the country has amply made it clear that journalists who are writing against anti-people policies of the State are in grave danger today. Such journalists have been murdered, assaulted and oppressed in myriad ways by the State machinery. The situation remains same irrespective of which political party is in power. The unholy nexus of politicians, mafia and police has made it much difficult for journalists working in small towns, suburban areas and remote villages to perform their job.”
Against the backdrop of growing violence against the media persons, PUCL-CG and PSKSSS took initiative in evolving a broad-based consensus for a Draft of “The Chhattisgarh Special Act for Protection of Journalists and Human Rights Defenders” (CSAPJHRD). The Draft Law was presented and debated in an Open Session at the Citizen’s Convention on PRESS, PEOPLE & STATE held on June 25-26, 2016 at Brindavan Hall, Civil Lines, Raipur, Chhattisgarh. About 150 delegates participated, including journalists, lawyers, former judges, educationists, political workers, trade union workers, social and human rights activists, etc.
In December, 2018, Congress (I) came to power in Chhattisgarh renewing hope and promise for enactment of the Law, as the Party had included it in its Election Manifesto. Immediately after taking over charge the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh gave assurance to the media persons that Chhattisgarh would introduce a legislation to protect journalists.
Against this backdrop, a Convention is being organized on Defending the Right to Freedom of Expression & Demanding a Journalist Safety Act On February 17th, 2019 (Sunday) At the Gass Memorial Hall, Raipur: Chhattisgarh. An Outline of the Programme is attached herewith.
You are invited to the Convention, and join the nation-wide campaign expressing solidarity with the victims and, in turn, jointly fight for each other’s rights and interests.