Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. But in India, this could not be further from the present situation.
In the last 16 months, we’ve had 63 defamation and 35 sedition cases. Internet was shut down 77 times with 43 social media posts being pulled up for punishment. There were 11 deaths related to free speech and 72 threats and attacks. Additionally, 10 instances of hate speech were identified.
The Right to Information is deadly, journalists are more unsafe than ever and even regular citizens can’t express their opinions freely without being afraid of legal action.
We’ve analyzed all of this and other things mentioned in The Hoot’s annual Media Freedom and Freedom of Speech report, here’s all the interesting stuff we found.