Angad Singh, an American journalist of Indian origin, was denied entry into India and deported back to the United States on August 24. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), condemn Singh’s deportation and urge the Indian government to cease its intimidation and harassment of journalists and media workers.
Singh, a video documentary producer for Vice News who was travelling to India for personal reasons, was barred from entering India by immigration officials and immediately deported back to the United States within three hours of landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Dehli.
According to the journalist’s family, Singh’s passport was confiscated within 15 minutes of arrival and he was swiftly returned to the United States without reason.
In a statement on social media, Singh’s mother, Gurmeet Kaur, confirmed that her son was deported from India after travelling 18 hours to visit her in Punjab. Kaur said she suspects Singh’s previous reporting to be the cause of his deportation. “We know it is his award-winning journalism that scares them. It is the stories he did and the stories he is capable of,” she said.
In May 2021, Singh produced a documentary for Vice News on the Indian government’s inefficient management of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, titled ‘India’s Covid Hell’, which earned an Emmy Nomination.
Singh’s reporting has focused on protests and uprisings in the Asia-Pacific, including Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Myanmar, India and Pakistan, producing documentaries on demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act and farmers’ protests in India.
In July, two Kashmiri journalists, Aakash Hassan and Sanna Mattoo, were also prevented from flying to Sri Lanka and Paris respectively at the Indira Gandi International Airport.
The IJU said: “The ad hoc deportation of a journalist is unacceptable in any free and democratic society. The Union Home Ministry must give reasons for the deportation of journalists Singh and ensure that no such cases will be repeated in future.”
The IFJ said: “The barring of critical and independent journalists from travel without reason indicates the Indian government’s blatant disregard for press freedom. The IFJ condemns Angad Singh’s deportation and urges the government to cease its continued harassment and intimidation of journalists and media workers.”