RDS_181219 Journalist sentenced to one year
Manipuri journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem Image Credit: Twitter

What happened

  • Indian journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem had uploaded a video criticising the Manipur Chief Minister as well as the ruling BJP government.
  • He was arrested on November 26 under the National Security Act.
  • In 2018, India's ranking on the press freedom index fell by two points to 138, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Dubai: An Indian journalist, Kishorechandra Wangkhem, was jailed for a year under the National Security Act (NSA) after he posted a video on Facebook criticising the current Indian government.

According to Indian media reports, this is the maximum possible sentence under the act. Wangkhem was arrested on November 26, according to news website The Wire, after he posted a video criticising the BJP-led state government as well as the state’s Chief Minister N. Biren Singh. Reportedly, he also used foul language in the video, criticising the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) - a right-wing group closely linked to the BJP.

Twitter users reacted strongly against the sentencing, calling it another blow to the freedom of press in the country.

Tweep @Intellectroll shared the news report of the sentencing and wrote: “Good morning from the world’s largest democracy where a journalist has been jailed for a year and charged with sedition for making a video against Modi and RSS. #India”

Another Twitter user @Snc_ibn_NNC added: “The @TIME magazine is right, this is one of the worst years for journalists around the world. Just imagine these things happening in the biggest democracy. So, for others we can understand very well what they might be going through.”

Tweep @Kishan561 commented: “Today, I understood why journalist have become Godi Media Journalist [pro-Modi media] and are afraid to speak against Jumla [Fake promises] Party Government ...”