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White House Slams Harrassment Of Wall Street Journal Reporter After Question To Modi On Human Rights

Siddiqui has been the target of online attacks, mainly from the prime minister’s allies in India.

Wall Street Journal reporter Sabrina Siddiqui during a press conference with Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House last week. | Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Monday slammed a harassment campaign targeting a Wall Street Journal reporter who asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about human rights in his country at a White House press conference last week.

During a joint press conference with Modi and President Joe Biden last week, Wall Street Journal reporter Sabrina Siddiqui asked Modi “What steps are you and your government willing to take to improve the rights of Muslims and other minorities in your country and uphold free speech.”

Modi has rarely spoken to the media since taking office in 2014 and said he was “surprised” by the question.

“In India’s democratic values, there is absolutely no discrimination, neither on the basis of caste, creed, or age or any kind of geographic location,” Modi said through a translator.

“Indeed, India is a democracy. And as President Biden also mentioned, in India and America both countries, democracy is in our DNA. Democracy is our spirit. Democracy runs in our veins. We live in a democracy,” he added.

Modi has faced criticism for several human rights issues, including censoring journalists and stripping autonomy from the region of Kashmir.

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Since Thursday, Siddiqui has been the target of online attacks, mainly from the prime minister’s allies in India.

“We’re committed to the freedom of the press,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “We certainly condemn any efforts of intimidation or harassment of a journalist or any journalist that is just trying to do their job.”

“It’s completely unacceptable and it’s antithetical to the very principles of democracy that … were on display last week during the state visit,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.

Several groups including South Asian Journalists Association along with the Wall Street Journal responded to the attacks in a statement Monday calling Siddiqui “a respected journalist known for her integrity and unbiased reporting.”

Stephen Anderson
Written By

Stephen Michael is a Political Correspondent based in the United States. He has reached a global audience with his coverage of the 2020 Election and Trump White House. Michael joins Forward Axis News after spending time with the Project Spurs Network since 2014 and covering reality TV in the UK, Australia, and Canada.

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