We Support Free Press: US On India Over BBC Docu

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We Support Free Press: US On India Over BBC Docu

| Updated: January 26, 2023 16:34

The United States State Department stated that it is essential to emphasise the significance of democratic ideals like freedom of expression and make it a point around the world as well as in India after India barred the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The spokesperson for the US State Department, Ned Price, emphasised in a routine briefing on Wednesday that Washington supports a free press worldwide and that it is crucial to draw attention to democratic values like freedom of expression.

Responding to a media query, Price said, “We support the importance of a free press around the world. We continue to highlight the importance of democratic principles, such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief, as human rights that contribute to the strengthening of our democracies. This is a point we make in our relationships around the world. It’s certainly a point we’ve made in India as well.”

Price previously indicated that there are several factors that support the US’ global strategic partnership with India, including political, economic, and particularly deep people-to-people ties, in a news briefing on Monday.

“I’m not familiar with the documentary you’re referring to. I am very familiar with the shared values that enact the United States and India as two thriving, vibrant democracies. When we have concerns about actions that are taken in India, we’ve voiced those we’ve had an occasion to do that,” he said.

Last Monday, the Center ordered the removal of numerous YouTube videos and tweets containing links to the documentary. The ministry of external affairs has denounced the two-part BBC documentary as a “propaganda piece” that lacked objectivity and displayed a “colonial attitude” and alleges it explored specific elements of the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the state’s chief minister.

The IT Rules, 2021’s emergency powers were reportedly used by the ministry of information and broadcasting to issue the instructions on restricting access on Friday. 

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