Home ministry refuses to renew visa of French journalist Sebastien Farcis, says ‘uprooted overnight with no reason’

French journalist Sebastien Farcis was forced to leave India as the Ministry of Home Affairs refused to renew his journalist permit.

Written By Alka Jain
First Published20 Jun 2024, 02:01 PM IST
French journalist Sebastien Farcis. (X)
French journalist Sebastien Farcis. (X)

French journalist Sebastien Farcis on Thursday alleged that he was “forced to leave India” as the Ministry of Home Affairs refused to renew his journalist permit, despite his 13-year-long journey as a correspondent in the country.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Farcis wrote, “After 13 years working as a correspondent in India, the authorities have denied me a permit to work as a journalist. I have thus been forced to leave the country.”

“On 17th June, I was forced to leave India, a country where I had lived and worked as a journalist for 13 years, as a South Asia correspondent for Radio France Internationale, Radio France, Liberation and the Swiss and Belgian public radios,” the journalist said in a statement posted on the microblogging site.

Farcis mentioned that the Ministry of Home Affairs denied renewing his journalist permit on March 7, with no reason to justify his work ban, while saying that he had also made formal requests to the MHA. He termed it an “incomprehensible censorship”.

Worked as a journalist in India since 2011, Sebastien said he has obtained all the necessary visas and accreditations. “I have respected the regulations imposed in India for foreign journalists and never worked in restricted or protected areas without a permit. On several occasions, the MHA even granted me permits to report from border areas.”

“This work ban comes as a big shock: it was communicated to me on the eve of the Indian general elections, the largest democratic elections in the world, which I was hence forbidden to cover. This appeared to me as an incomprehensible censorship,” the statement read.

The French journalist further stated that his family was also pushed out of India “without explanation” and “uprooted overnight" for no apparent reason. “I am married to an Indian woman, and I have the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status. I am therefore deeply attached to India, which has become my second homeland,” he said.

After Vanessa Dougnac, Sebastien is the second French journalist forced to leave India under these conditions in the past four months and five OCI foreign correspondents have been banned from working as journalists in less than two years, he added.

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First Published:20 Jun 2024, 02:01 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaHome ministry refuses to renew visa of French journalist Sebastien Farcis, says ‘uprooted overnight with no reason’

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