Why this is important
Journalist Santosh Yadav has been in detention in Chhattisgarh, central India, since 29 September on what are believed to be fabricated charges as a result of his work reporting on human rights abuses by the police.Santosh Yadav is a freelance journalist.
He was arrested on 29 September by the Chhattisgarh police for allegedly being involved in rioting, criminal conspiracy, murder, and being part of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) armed group, among other offences.
He is being held under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act – both of which violate international human rights standards – and other laws. It is believed that he is being targeted for his work among the Adivasi Indigenous communities in Bastar district, Chhattisgarh, and that the allegations against him are fabricated.
Santosh Yadav’s lawyer, said, “Santosh Yadav is one of the few journalists who reported on police brutality on Adivasis in the region.
He has also been the contact person for national and international journalists and was crucial in getting media attention to the plight of Adivasis in the conflict-torn region.
He has also been instrumental in helping Adivasis get legal aid.”On 5 October a local court remanded Santosh Yadav in judicial custody until 20 October.According to his lawyer, Santosh Yadav has previously faced harassment by the authorities. He said that in June he had been stripped and beaten by the state police. Journalists in Bastar district say they are regularly targeted for their work.
Journalists across the state are planning to protest against the arrest if the state government does not prove the allegations within a month.