World Association of News Publishers

World's Press Condemns Newspaper Blockade in Southern India

World's Press Condemns Newspaper Blockade in Southern India

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WAN-IFRA and the World Editors Forum have condemned the blockade of two newspapers in the Indian state of Kerala orchestrated by the trade-union wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

CPI(M) and its trade union wing CITU have, for the past 13 days, been physically preventing the distribution of Malayala Manorama and other publications of the Manorama Group in Calicut district in Kerala as well as in the city of Calicut itself. According to reports, party activists have made use of physical intimidation as well as threats of violence to achieve this end.

The blockade has come in reaction to a series of articles published by Malayala Manorama. They dealt with allegations of infighting in CPI(M) over organisational problems within the party. Despite the articles having only been published by Malayala Manorama, the blockade was yesterday reportedly extended to include all newspapers in the Manorama Group. Additionally, it has been extended to affect another Kerala paper, Mathrubhumi Daily, and has spread to neighbouring Kannur district.

WAN-IFRA condemns this clear attack on freedom of speech and media plurality in the region, during which CPI(M) has led a blockade directly resulting in the diminishment of Kerala citizens' right to access information. WAN-IFRA calls on CPI(M) and CITU to unequivocally rescind their blockade of all newspapers affected and calls on the party to ensure its activists end all threats of violence against newspaper distributors. 


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2011-11-04 18:47

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...