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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 4 January 27, 2024

An Open Letter from Foreign Correspondents Based in India in Defense of French Journalist Vanessa Dougnac | Jan 26, 2024

Saturday 27 January 2024


Jan 26, 2024

We the undersigned foreign correspondents based in India express our deep concern over an official notice given to our colleague, Vanessa Dougnac, which warns of the impending withdrawal of her Overseas Citizen of India (OCl) status as a consequence of her work as a journalist. If implemented, this decision would effectively expel her from the country.

Ms. Dougnac, who has lived in India for more than two decades and is highly regarded as a senior journalist covering South Asia, has cooperated with the relevant authorities in an effort to remove any misunderstanding. Ever since the notice was brought to public attention by news reports, with the suggestion that she is facing this sanction because of her past reporting, she has firmly denied accusations of any breach of Indian law.

While foreign correspondents have grappled with increased visa restrictions in recent years, our colleagues with OCI status have faced particular difficulty from new and often opaque administrative burdens, hampering their ability to work as journalists. We hope Ms. Dougnac’s case is resolved quickly as it affects not only her livelihood but also her family life, and we request the Indian authorities to facilitate the vital work of a free press in line with India’s democratic traditions.

Carole Dieterich, Le Monde
David Asta Alares, EFE
Sean Gleeson, Mujib Mashal, The New York Times
Hannah Ellis-Petersen, The Guardian
Alban Alvarez, France 24
Andreas Babst, NZZ
Lisa Dupuy, Lena Schipper, The Economist
Shan Li, The Wall Street Journal
Gerry Shih, The Washington Post
Sebastien Berger, Sophie Landrin, Le Monde
John Reed, Avani Dias, Meghna Bali, Karishma Mehrotra, The Washington Post
Marion Laouamen, TF1
Salimah Shivji, Benjamin Parkin, Jeremy Page, The Economist
Chiara Reid, Léa Delfolie, France 24
Antoine Védeilhé, France Télévisions
Clément Perruche,, Les Echos
Peter Martell, Adam Withnall, The Independent
Angélique Forget, France Télévisions
Marie Boyer, France Télévisions
Lucie Berbey, France Télévisions

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