Crackdown on press freedom no solution to curb fake news: Amnesty

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New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) Amnesty International on Tuesday welcomed the government’s move withdrawing an executive order on suspending accreditation of journalists if accused of disseminating fake news, saying the threat was a brazen attempt to control the media.

“The withdrawal of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s order is welcome. This appeared to be a brazen attempt to control the media under the façade of controlling fake news and target critics of the government,” Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India, said in a statement,

“While intentionally misleading and deceitful reports are a real problem, the solution is not to crack down on press freedom. The government should instead take steps to promote a free, independent and diverse environment for the media.”

He said several government spokespersons have been known to disseminate disinformation “which they should know to be false, on social media and on television. This dangerous trend needs to stop”.

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