Global Scribes' Body Asks BJP Leaders to Stop Online Harassment of The Wire's Arfa Khanum Sherwani

Arfa Khanum Sherwani has received death and rape threats on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

New Delhi: The Committee to Protect Journalists released a statement urging BJP leaders to stop encouraging online vitriol directed at The Wire’s senior editor Arfa Khanum Sherwani.

The committee also asked authorities to ensure that threats against journalists like her are taken seriously.

The Committee highlights the online behaviour targeting her displayed by the likes of BJP ‘IT Cell’ head Amit Malviya, party spokesperson Sambit Patra and BJP Mahila Morcha social media in-charge Priti Gandhi.

Malviya was first to share a 42-second clip of Sherwani speaking, which he alleged showed her discussing the strategy to build a caliphate. Except that the video had been edited from a much longer speech which Sherwani had delivered at Aligarh Muslim University.

Alt News has reported with a fact check that within context, Sherwani was talking about the necessity to strategise secular protests, and not giving out a call to build a caliphate.

Also read: BJP Leaders Distort Speech by The Wire’s Arfa Khanum Sherwani to Attack CAA ProtestsNot only was this context missing in the leaders’ tweets, their tweets was also retweeted several thousands of times by supporters.“It is extremely irresponsible and dangerous for Bharatiya Janata Party officials to be targeting and distorting journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani’s comments,” said Aliya Iftikhar, CPJ’s senior Asia researcher is quoted as having said in the statement.Sherwani told CPJ that her stance on Citizenship Amendment Act and the impending National Register of Citizens is what possibly worsened that online attacks against her. Her Muslim name, too, makes her a target of the violence.

Speaking to CPJ, Sherwani said she has received death and rape threats on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in relation to the smears.