The IWMF Condemns Online Attack of Indian Journalist Rana Ayyu

The International Women’s Media Foundation annouced on its website that the organization  is distressed to learn about the dangerous online attacks and social media campaign against award-winning Indian journalist Rana Ayyub.

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Leg: The indian journalist  Rana Ayyub ( Photo Credit: Facebook )

Since April 22, when a fake tweet that defended child rapists and said that Muslims are not safe in India was falsely attributed to Ayyub, dangerous online attacks against her have escalated. Her face has been morphed in videos and content calling for her to be gang-raped “if she didn’t stop talking against Hindus and [Narendra] Modi,” has been circulating widely. Most concerning, she has been doxed, that is her address and personal phone number have been made public, creating the real possibility for her cyber-attacks to become physical attacks. Although the fake tweet and account have since been deleted, other fake tweets have been circulating.

Harassment in journalism and the media industry has risen to the forefront of public attention. The online world is where journalists experience most threats. When journalists are targets of online abuse, the attacks take a toll on freedom of expression and freedom of the press. The chilling effect on individual journalists and journalistic lines of inquiry can lead to the silencing of diverse voices in the media.

The IWMF supports Rana Ayyub and all women journalists and their right to free expression online and everywhere.  » We urge that these attacks be investigated by government authorities and the appropriate online platforms and that every effort is made to stop the attacks and to hold those responsible to account.« , communicated the organization.