Jailed journalist Siddique Kappan’s family struggles for justice

18 February 2021

On 5 October 2020, freelance journalist Siddique Kappan was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police while going to report on a brutal gang rape of a Dalit woman in Hathras. He was booked for sedition and charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. On 15 February 2021, the Supreme Court gave him bail for five days to visit his ailing mother. He was barred from speaking to the press.

Raihanath Kappan, Siddique's wife, discusses his arrest and why she believes the government targeted her husband because of his religious and ethnic identity alone. "To report, to find the truth and to ensure people knew, that is why he went to Hathras," she said. "Because the Hathras incident had caught the public ire, they needed to blame a journalist to divert attention. They found their man, someone from Kerala, a Muslim—they found the perfect catch, I guess."

Ashfaque EJ is a Delhi-based independent journalist.

Keywords: Hathras press freedom media freedom Uttar Pradesh Police Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act
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