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Freedom India

Alt New denies allegations of foreign funding

On Monday, the organisations issued a statement denying all such allegations

Sabrangindia 05 Jul 2022

Foreign FundingImage Courtesy: newsroompost.com

Fact-checking website Alt News issued a statement on July 4, 2022 denying any receipt of foreign funds following allegations against it and its parent organisation Pravda Media Foundation. The clarification came shortly after the Delhi police accused Alt News Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair of receiving foreign donations amounting to ₹ 2 lakh.

On June 27, Zubair was arrested for allegedly promoting enmity between groups and hurting religious sentiments via a 2018 tweet. He was sent to four days of police custody when on July 2, the Delhi police further accused him of receiving donations from Pakistan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The Delhi court then denied bail to Zubair and sent him to 14 days’ judicial custody.

Two days after this, Alt News issued a statement that its payment platform does not allow receipt of foreign donations.

“All of this is an attempt to shut down the very critical work that we do, and we will fight this attempt to shut us down and come out on top,” said Alt News.

The statements called all allegations categorically false. It said the organisation has only received donations via Indian bank accounts and the donated amount goes to the organisation’s account.

“The allegation that individuals associated with the organisation have received funds in their personal accounts is also false since the individuals associated with the organisation only get monthly remuneration,” said Alt News.

Shortly afterwards, it posted another update that said their payment platform RazorPay had disabled their account. By Tuesday, the payment platform said that it had temporarily disabled their account on receiving a request from police authorities and had re-activated the same after "getting some clarity." However, as per an updated Alt News statement, RazorPay handed over donor data to the police without informing the organisation.

In keeping with government regulations, donation forms ask for a person’s email address, phone number, PAN card number, address. Regarding the whole incident, Alt News said it will be shifting to a new payment platform.

Over the week or so since Zubair’s arrest both the organisation and the journalist received overwhelming support. About 150 concerned citizens gave out a statement on July 1 demanding his immediate release.

“It is ironical that on the same day as Mr. Zubair’s arrest, India along with G7 countries, signed the ‘2022 Resilient Democracies Statement’, wherein the Indian government committed to “guarding the freedom, independence and diversity of civil society actors” and “protecting the freedom of expression and opinion online and offline”,” said the statement.

On June 30, The Hindu ex-Editor in Chief wrote an article against Zubair’s “laughable charges”. Similarly, the Press Club of India too condemned the arrest.

 

 

Related:

AltNews’s Mohammed Zubair remanded to four-day police custody
First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!
Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Allahabad HC refuses to quash FIR against Alt News Founder Mohammed Zubair
How are religious sentiments hurt when blatant hate speech is exposed by a journalist?
BJP dumps spokesperson Nupur Sharma, Naveen K. Jindal in damage control move
Millat Times Editor booked for sharing Kanpur violence videos!

Alt New denies allegations of foreign funding

On Monday, the organisations issued a statement denying all such allegations

Foreign FundingImage Courtesy: newsroompost.com

Fact-checking website Alt News issued a statement on July 4, 2022 denying any receipt of foreign funds following allegations against it and its parent organisation Pravda Media Foundation. The clarification came shortly after the Delhi police accused Alt News Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair of receiving foreign donations amounting to ₹ 2 lakh.

On June 27, Zubair was arrested for allegedly promoting enmity between groups and hurting religious sentiments via a 2018 tweet. He was sent to four days of police custody when on July 2, the Delhi police further accused him of receiving donations from Pakistan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The Delhi court then denied bail to Zubair and sent him to 14 days’ judicial custody.

Two days after this, Alt News issued a statement that its payment platform does not allow receipt of foreign donations.

“All of this is an attempt to shut down the very critical work that we do, and we will fight this attempt to shut us down and come out on top,” said Alt News.

The statements called all allegations categorically false. It said the organisation has only received donations via Indian bank accounts and the donated amount goes to the organisation’s account.

“The allegation that individuals associated with the organisation have received funds in their personal accounts is also false since the individuals associated with the organisation only get monthly remuneration,” said Alt News.

Shortly afterwards, it posted another update that said their payment platform RazorPay had disabled their account. By Tuesday, the payment platform said that it had temporarily disabled their account on receiving a request from police authorities and had re-activated the same after "getting some clarity." However, as per an updated Alt News statement, RazorPay handed over donor data to the police without informing the organisation.

In keeping with government regulations, donation forms ask for a person’s email address, phone number, PAN card number, address. Regarding the whole incident, Alt News said it will be shifting to a new payment platform.

Over the week or so since Zubair’s arrest both the organisation and the journalist received overwhelming support. About 150 concerned citizens gave out a statement on July 1 demanding his immediate release.

“It is ironical that on the same day as Mr. Zubair’s arrest, India along with G7 countries, signed the ‘2022 Resilient Democracies Statement’, wherein the Indian government committed to “guarding the freedom, independence and diversity of civil society actors” and “protecting the freedom of expression and opinion online and offline”,” said the statement.

On June 30, The Hindu ex-Editor in Chief wrote an article against Zubair’s “laughable charges”. Similarly, the Press Club of India too condemned the arrest.

 

 

Related:

AltNews’s Mohammed Zubair remanded to four-day police custody
First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!
Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Allahabad HC refuses to quash FIR against Alt News Founder Mohammed Zubair
How are religious sentiments hurt when blatant hate speech is exposed by a journalist?
BJP dumps spokesperson Nupur Sharma, Naveen K. Jindal in damage control move
Millat Times Editor booked for sharing Kanpur violence videos!

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