Meghalaya : Concern over charges against Patricia Mukhim

The scribes’ body is worried over criminal charges against Mukhim after her resignation from the Editors Guild of India (EGI) in protest against its silence on the matter. Four months ago she condemned the attack on five non-tribal youths on Facebook.
The guild in a statement said, “Mukhim’s case is an example of how multiple legal provisions can be used against free speech and therefore against free press”.
“Several provisions across multiple laws give a handle to government agencies and law enforcement authorities to lodge criminal cases against journalists wherein the criminal complaint procedure itself becomes an exacting punishment, and acts as deterrent against exercise of free speech,” it added.
The media should have questioned and reported the Government even if they are “harsh and disturbing”, the guild said.
It added, “They cannot be held liable for relaying information that may bring to fore details on fault lines within the society, or for that matter, mismanagement and corruption in government affairs”.
The guild strongly recommended the judiciary to take information of the matter that prevents freedom of speech and also issue general rules to make sure that laws do not discourage free press.