Target: Indian Police Service and State Police Service
Goal: Condemn the Indian police for cracking down on free speech on the internet.
Police departments throughout India have begun a crackdown on cyber speech. The police have overzealously arrested people who publish content on the internet that they believe will disrupt social harmony or create tensions, justifying themselves with the over-broad Information Technology Act. Sign the petition to protest the behavior of the Indian police.
Those arrested have included two girls from Mumbai who commented on Facebook about the death of a nationalist politician. A political cartoonist was arrested for a cartoon that mocked corruption in the Indian government; he has since been charged with sedition. A university professor in West Bengal was arrested for an email that contained a caricature of the chief minister. A businessman in Puducherry was arrested for a tweet criticizing the son of the finance minister. Despite the modification of the Information Technology Act with new guidelines and safeguards, the police continue to wantonly arrest people. Recently, a 20-year-old student was arrested for posting a picture on Facebook depicting a Hindu god sitting on top of a mosque.
Sign the petition to tell the Indian police that their behavior is undemocratic and contravenes the Indian Constitution and civil liberties. Free speech is one of the most important rights in a democratic society and the Indian police must learn to respect it.
Dear Service Chief Syed Asif Ibrahim,
I am a concerned citizen writing to you to express my disapproval with the behavior of the Indian Police Service with regard to free speech on the internet. Over recent months, police in various parts of India have arrested people for exercising their right to free speech. Despite changes to the Information Technology Act police feel empowered to arrest those who offend politicians and religious sentiment. This contravenes the Indian Constitution and civil liberties.
In Mumbai, police arrested two girls who posted comments on Facebook about a politician. In West Bengal, a university professor was arrested for forwarding an email containing a political caricature. In Pudacherry, a businessman was arrested for a tweet criticizing a politician. A political cartoonist was charged with sedition and a student was arrested for posting a picture on Facebook.
India is a democratic country and free speech is one of the most important rights in a democratic society. I urge you to take action to prevent the India Police from suppressing the free speech rights of citizens on the internet.
I hope you take my thoughts into consideration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Creative Commons