French journalist Sébastien Farcis says 'forced to leave' India as MHA denies work permit

Sébastien Farcis is the third foreign journalist to leave the country this year due to denial of work permit.
Last Updated : 20 June 2024, 14:04 IST

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French journalist Sébastien Farcis said in an X post that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has declined to renew his journalist permit, thereby forcing him to leave the country.

"Three months ago, on 7th March, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) denied the renewal of my journalist permit, preventing me from practicing my profession and depriving me of all my income," he wrote in a post.

He also said that no reason was provided to justify this work ban.

Farcis has been working in India for more than a decade as a South Asia correspondent for Radio France Internationale, Radio France Liberation and the Swiss and Belgian public radios.

According to his post he is also married to an Indian woman and himself holds status of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI).

Farcis also pointed out that this ban comes at a time of increasing restrictions on the work of foreign journalists.

According to a report in Scroll this is the third instance in recent months when a foreign journalist has had to leave the country due to papers being refused.

On April 19, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s South Asia bureau chief Avani Dias left the country when she was told that her visa would not be extended due to her reporting on a Sikh separatist’s killing.

Another veteran French Journalist, Vanessa Dougnac was forced to leave the country in February after 22 years.

She too is married to an Indian and said “Leaving is not my choice.”

Scroll.in reported that on January 18, Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notice to Dougnac alleging that her “malicious” work has created a 'biased negative perception' of the country.

The Centre's actions come at a time when questions have been raised by various quarters on the Modi government's clamp down on dissent.

The world's largest democracy recently completed its general elections and mandated a third term to the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, BJP failed to secure the majority mark by itself.

The Hindu reported that India ranked 159 out of the 180 nations considered in the 2024 edition of the press freedom index, published by the organisation Reporters Without Borders.

While its rank improved from 161 in 2023, India has consistently ranked poorly in the index in the recent years.

Published 20 June 2024, 14:04 IST

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