India clamps down on free speech to fight farmer protests
NEW DELHI (AP) — Media coverage and social media chatter around the tens of thousands of protesting farmers at the edges of the Indian capital have prompted a furious reaction from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. Critics say it has used the massive demonstrations to escalate a crackdown on the media and free speech by detaining journalists and freezing Twitter accounts. While some of the accounts have been restored this week, nine journalists and an opposition lawmaker are facing sedition charges for their reporting on the protests. Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders condemned the government’s action as censorship. The Editors Guild of India says the cases against journalists are an attempt to intimidate, harass, browbeat and stifle the media.