US condemns harassment of journalist who posed question to Modi

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AP :
The White House has condemned the harassment of a US journalist who posed a question to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Thursday on the alleged discrimination against religious minorities in India.
“We’re aware of the reports of that harassment. It’s unacceptable. And we absolutely condemn any harassment of journalists anywhere under any circumstances,” said John Kirby, the National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications.

He was responding to a question during a routine press conference in the White House. “It’s antithetical to the very principles of democracy…,” Kirby added.
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre echoed this stance, saying, “We certainly condemn any efforts of intimidation or harassment of a journalist or any journalist that is just trying to do their job.”
The White House Monday condemned the harassment of a US journalist who posed a question to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Thursday on the alleged discrimination against religious minorities in India.

“We’re aware of the reports of that harassment. It’s unacceptable. And we absolutely condemn any harassment of journalists anywhere under any circumstances,” said John Kirby, the National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications. He was responding to a question during a routine press conference in the White House. “It’s antithetical to the very principles of democracy…,” Kirby added.
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre echoed this stance, saying, “We certainly condemn any efforts of intimidation or harassment of a journalist or any journalist that is just trying to do their job.”

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Sabrina Siddiqui, a journalist working with the Wall Street Journal, had faced criticism online, including from BJP leader Amit Malviya, for posing a question to PM Modi during his joint press address with US President Joe Biden on June 22 at the White House.
“Prime Minister Modi completely destroyed the motivated question on steps being taken to ‘protect’ rights of Muslims and other minorities,” Malviya wrote on Twitter.
Following harassment on social media over her personal life and background, Siddiqui had shared photographs of her cheering for the Indian cricket team, writing, “Sometimes identities are more complex than they seem.”

The Wall Street Journal and the South Asian Journalists Association had also defended Siddiqui, with the former issuing a statement referring to Siddiqui as “a respected journalist known for her integrity and unbiased reporting.”
“This harassment of our reporter is unacceptable, and we strongly condemn it,” WSJ said.
During the press conference, Siddiqui had asked Modi: “There are many human rights groups who say your government has discriminated against religious minorities and sought to silence its critics… As you stand here in the East Room of the White House, where so many world leaders have made commitments to protecting democracy, what steps are you and your government willing to take to improve the rights of Muslims and other minorities in your country and to uphold free speech?” In response, PM Modi had said that “democracy is in our DNA” and “there is absolutely no question of discrimination” regardless of “caste, creed, religion and gender”.