United Nations special rapporteur on human rights defenders and founder of Front Line Defenders, Mary Lawlor, on Tuesday, expressed her “concern” over the ongoing detention of journalist Siddique Kappan in Uttar Pradesh.
Lawlor’s tweet comes days after Kappan was denied bail by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court. The family is moving to the Supreme Court with a new bail petition.
Kappan was arrested on 5 October 2020 by the Uttar Pradesh Police along with three others, while he was on his way to report the gang rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras. Several human rights groups have condemned Kappan’s arrest and called it an “assault” on press freedom.
He has been charged with serious offences under the Indian Penal code, including the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Kappan was a regular contributor to the Malayalam news outlet Azhimukham and Secretary of the Delhi Unit of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ).