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Indian Journalist Released After Detention on Terror Charges

February 27, 2013

Indian Journalist Released After Six Months Detention on Terror Charges

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins partners in India in welcoming the release of Muthiur Rahman Siddiqui, a journalist based in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, after six months in detention on terror charges.

Siddiqui, a twenty-six year old reporter and sub-editor with the Deccan Herald, Bengaluru’s oldest and most well-known newspaper group, was arrested by local police on August 27 last year, on charges of involvement in a plot hatched by overseas terror groups to kill a number of well-known public figures in the city.

He was held under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which allows for detention of up to six months without charge.

Siddiqui’s case was transferred from local police, who report to the state government of Karnataka, to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), a newly created anti-terror agency directly under India’s union government, in December.

Late last week, the NIA informed the court that it had no evidence to bring charges against Siddiqui, leading to his unconditional discharge and release on February 25.

In remarks to the press shortly after his release, Siddiqui spoke of a harrowing time in detention and suggested that media reports at the time of his arrest may have unfairly denied him the presumption of innocence and held him guilty without trial.

The IFJ welcomes the decision by the Deccan Herald to reinstate Siddiqui in the position he held prior to his arrest and calls on the state government of Karnataka to review, without delay, the cases it has registered against journalists K.K. Shahina and Naveen Soorinje.

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

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