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Can't Comment On NewsClick's China Link But Reiterate Respect For Human Rights Of Journalists, Freedom Of Expression: US

Reacting to the raids and arrests of Indian journalists associated with NewsClick, the United States reiterated its support for human rights of journalists, including freedom of expression both online and offline, while also stating that they cannot comment on the veracity of the claims that NewsClick had ties to the Chinese Government.

US Department of State on question about raids on journalists in India
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Reacting to the raids and arrests of Indian journalists associated with NewsClick, the United States reiterated its support for human rights of journalists, including freedom of expression both online and offline as a general principle, while also stating that they cannot comment on the veracity of the claims that NewsClick had ties to the Chinese Government.

We have seen reports about this outlet's ties to the People's Republic of China, "but we can't comment yet on the veracity of those claims", State Department Spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters at a news conference in Washington.  “Separately, of course though, the US government strongly supports the robust role of the media globally, including social media, in a vibrant and free democracy,” he said. 

The U.S. government has raised concerns on these matters with the Indian government, with countries around the world, through diplomatic engagements, the spokesperson said.  “We have urged the Indian government and have done so not just with India, but other countries as well, about the importance of respecting the human rights of journalists, including freedom of expression both online and offline,” he said.

The raids were conducted after The New York Times, in an investigated story in August, reported about NewsClick allegedly receiving funds from an Indian American having ties to Chinese propaganda interests.  In a statement, the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy organisation of diaspora Indian Muslims, strongly condemned the raid on the office of the news portal and journalists associated with it.

The IAMC called upon the government to immediately drop the “baseless” case against NewsClick and release all journalists who have been unjustly detained.

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