The X account of Meer Faisal, a journalist who extensively reports on hate crimes in India, was ‘withheld’ in India based on a request from the Union government.
A message displayed on the withheld account says that the action has been taken “in response to a legal demand”. However, the details of the demand are not known.
Faisal told Maktoob, “I hadn’t been active for a few days, and when I opened the app to tweet, I realized it had been withheld.”
He continued, “Withholding an account or censoring a journalist’s work constitutes a violation of press freedom.”
“I believe my account was withheld due to the stories where I speak about the rights of Muslims and marginalized communities. I can’t recall any specific story that justifies this level of suppression of expression,” he added.
Meer has a following of over 50k on X, and his news stories are frequently covered by various media outlets, with some having a significant impact.
Meer, a regular contributor to Maktoob, extensively covered human rights violations in India in various publications, including Al Jazeera and TRT World.
“Press freedom is a vital democratic principle, enabling journalists to report and express their views without censorship or undue interference,” Faisal emphasized.
“Press freedom is in jeopardy, and journalists who report on Muslim-related stories face significant surveillance. Journalism should not be treated as a crime,” he declared.
On the same day, Faisal recently received an award for his outstanding Photo Story on Human Rights and Religious Freedom. His story depicted the tragic incident of a 110-year-old madrasa and library being set ablaze by a Hindutva mob during a Ram Navami rally in Bihar in April.