Germany assails India's detention of Muslim journalist

By: News Desk
Published: 11:25 AM, 8 Jul, 2022
Germany assails India's detention of Muslim journalist
Caption: File photo of Muslim journalist Zubair.
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Germany has expressed concern over the detention of Muslim journalist Mohammed Zubair by the BJP government, saying that the importance of press freedom "also applies to India."

"Free reporting is beneficial to any society and restrictions are a cause for concern," German foreign ministry spokesman Christian Wagner said during a press conference.

"Journalists should not be persecuted and imprisoned for what they say and write," Wagner said, adding that the German embassy in India was "monitoring this very closely."

He added that Germany would work with its EU partners on the ground, incorporating the issue in their ongoing dialogue with India.

"Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are a focus of those discussions with India," Wagner said.

Who is Mohammed Zubair?

Zubair was arrested in India's capital city of New Delhi for a 2018 tweet that allegedly hurt religious sentiments. He is accused of violating the country's law on religious harmony.

The Muslim journalist is the co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News and has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

Zubair also routinely calls out hate speech by Hindu fringe groups on the internet and writes about the marginalization of India's Muslim minority.

Zubair was arrested days after bringing international attention to controversial remarks made by a ruling party official against Islam's Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Critics have said that his arrest is a part of a larger crackdown on free speech in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.