The Indian authorities on Wednesday evening released the prominent Indian journalist Muhammad Zubair, after a three-week arrest, against the background of a tweet that the Muslim journalist published 4 years ago, in which he criticized the violation of the rights of the Muslim minority in India.
According to local media, India’s Supreme Court has ordered the release on bail of journalist Zubair, who has been detained since June 27 on charges of insulting religious beliefs and sentiments through his tweets highlighting Islamophobia in India.
Zubair appeared in videos circulated by media and activists, standing outside the court surrounded by his legal team and raising the victory sign.
— NDTV (@ndtv) 20 July 2022
Media outlets quoted the Supreme Court as saying that “in the present case, there is no justification to keep him in constant detention and subject him to an endless round of proceedings in various courts” while investigating complaints against him .
According to sources who spoke to the media, the High Court in the capital, Delhi, rejected the request of the Uttar Pradesh government to issue an injunction barring Zubair from posting on Twitter.
The same sources added that in response to the Uttar Pradesh state’s request, Supreme Court lawyer Chandrashod said, “It is like telling a lawyer not to argue, how can we order a journalist to not to write? We cannot prevent him from free speech.”
Zubair would like to convey his heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has stood by us and supported us in the last few weeks. He will be back soon. pic.twitter.com/PkyYOnEewh
— Pratik Sinha (@free_thinker) 20 July 2022
Indian networking sites were full of congratulations from various activists and journalists in the country for Zubair’s freedom, and his co-founder of AltNews (Prateek Sinha) attached a photo of him with Zubair and said, “Zubair wishes to express his sincere gratitude to all send. who has stood by and supported us for the past few weeks. He will be back soon.”
“We must not forget that Zubair should not have been in jail in the first place,” wrote politician Renuka Chowdhury.
Explaining Zubair’s legal position, Professor Ashok Soin said: “Mohammed Zubair has been released but there are at least 7 cases against him and most importantly his passport has not been released. This keeps him at the mercy of the regime.”
Don’t forget that Zubair shouldn’t even be in jail in the first place. #MohammedZubair
— Renuka Chowdhury (@RenukaCCongress) 20 July 2022
Indian cartoonist Satish Acharya published a cartoon he made to congratulate Zubair’s freedom, and in his work depicted the Uttar Pradesh government as a monster asking the Supreme Court to ban Zubair from using social media , and the judge responded to that request by rejecting it.
— Satish Acharya (@satishacharya) 20 July 2022
Politician Sitaram Chouri tweeted, “We welcome the release of Muhammad Zubair. There was no case against him. He was arrested as part of a campaign of abuse by this authoritarian regime to target anyone who regularly spouts their lies, to trying to intimidate others who speak.”
And journalist Muhammad Zubair is one of the prominent faces in the fight against Islamophobia in India, and the Indian authorities arrested him and accused him of insulting religious beliefs on Twitter, sparking a wide campaign of solidarity with him.
About a month ago, journalist and activist Muhammad Zubair announced that he had received a message from Twitter stating that his tweet had been banned in India in which he published a video of a Hindu activist calling for attacks on Muslims and the looting of their money. Twitter justified. its decision as compliance with the Indian Information Technology Act.
Zubair recently highlighted comments made by a spokesman for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party during a televised debate, which were deemed offensive to Islam, and prompted protests by Arab governments, popular protests and campaigns to boycott Indian goods.
Mohammad Zubair is released but there are at least 7 cases against him and more importantly his passport is not released. This keeps him at the mercy of the regime.
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) 20 July 2022
We welcome Mohammed Zubair’s release. There was no case against him. He was arrested as part of a victimization campaign by this authoritarian regime to target someone who regularly punctured their lies, to try to intimidate others who speak out. pic.twitter.com/Y9Xsd8m3kp
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechuri) 21 July 2022
— Fatima Khan (@khanthefatima) 20 July 2022