FMP condemns misuse of draconian laws to target Manipur journalists

The journalists were booked under UAPA and sedition laws


Recently, two journalists from Manipur were arrested under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) as well as sedition laws for the publication of an article that allegedly supported ideology of armed revolutionary groups.

The article titled Revolutionary Journey in a mess, written by M Joy Luwang was published on January 8, in Frontier Manipur, an online news portal. Following this Manipur Police filed a suo moto FIR naming Luwang, Paojel Chaoba (Executive Editor) and Dhiren Sadokpam (Editor-in-Chief) of the portal.

According to the FIR, “In the article the author openly endorsed revolutionary ideologies and activities and expressed shock and dismay at the deteriorating character of the armed revolutionary leaders of Manipur in the recent decade.”

Chaoba and Sadokpam were charged under provisions of IPC sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 505(b) (causing alarm to induce offence against the state), and 34 (common intention), as well as the UAPA’s Section 39 (supporting terror organisation).

Now the Foundation of Media Professionals (FMP) has come out in support of the Manipur-based journalists. In a statement release FMP said, “The article in question is largely a critique of militant groups in Manipur, tracing what its author believes are the historical causes of their decline. The existence of such groups in the past, and of their journey, is well known to all in Manipur.”

It further says, “There have been many cases of misuse of the most stringent provisions of law against journalists in Manipur in recent years. The most well-known example is that of Kishorchandra Wangkhem, who has been arrested multiple times for posting irreverent comments on Facebook, most recently, about an online altercation between the two wives of a minister, for which he was charged with sedition.”

In conclusion, FMP says, “We would like to express our concern about the misuse of such Draconian provisions of law. If everything that the current rulers find unpleasant can be charged with sedition, then it is a threat not only to the freedom of speech and expression, but also to the Constitution itself.”

The entire statement may be read here: 



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