Police sue Indian channel over gang-rape interview

Agence France-Presse

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Police sue an Indian channel for an interview with the rape victim's boyfriend, saying it violates anonymity laws

HOW TO RESPOND? Police file a criminal case against an Indian news channel for an interview with the boyfriend of the gang-rape victim but the Committee to Protect Journalists said the lawsuit is a misplaced priority. File AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGH

NEW DELHI, India – Indian police said Saturday, January 5, they had filed a case against a cable news channel for airing an interview with the boyfriend of a woman whose gang-rape and murder spurred protests across the country.

A criminal case was registered late on Friday against Hindi-language Zee News channel over the interview, which police said would lead to the identification of the victim in breach of a law entitling her to anonymity.

“We have filed a case against Zee News under section 228 A of the Indian Penal Code which deals with disclosing the identity of victims of offences such as rape,” police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told AFP.

In the interview, the boyfriend recalled the horrific incident on the night of December 16 when the couple took a private bus to return home from a cinema in south Delhi.

Once in the bus, he was attacked and his 23-year-old girlfriend was allegedly gang-raped by the driver and five others who also violated her with an iron bar causing immense internal damage that led to her death last weekend.

He also criticized the police for arriving late at the scene and then delaying taking the couple to hospital while they argued over which police station should take responsibility for the crime.

Indian law does not allow the naming of rape victims without permission from the victim or family members.

AFP also interviewed the boyfriend but did not disclose his name.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on authorities in India on Saturday to refrain from pressing charges against the media group.

“This is an instance of greatly misplaced priorities,” Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, said in a statement.

“Authorities are hardly protecting the victim’s rights by retaliating against news media that are bringing to light details of the horrific crime that claimed her life.” – Rappler.com


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