Foreign Policy Blogs

Indian Editor in Chennai Tortured

Following reports that the editor of Indian magazine Naveena Netrikkan has been arrested and tortured, press freedom organizations are calling for his release.

Mr. A.S. Mani was reportedly arrested, imprisoned and tortured after reporting on police corruption in the Indian state of Chennai, in Tamil Nadu.

Reporters Without Borders issued the transcript of an interview with Professor Krishnaswamy, head of the A.S. Mani Support Committee:

A.S. Mani has spent nearly a month in detention. What can you tell us about the conditions in which he is being held?

A.S. Mani was taken into custody at 10:30 a.m. on 19 July and was cruelly tortured at Egmore police station (in Chennai). During his first night in prison, the police stripped him naked and beat him until he lost consciousness. When he woke up and asked for something to drink, Police Inspector Chandrasekaran urinated into a bottle and forced him to drink the urine.

What are the charges against him?

The police showed no warrant when they arrested him and the staff of Naveena Netrikkan did not learn of his arrest until the following evening. Since then, he has been held on two trumped-up charges, one of which is the attempted murder of a police informer, A.N. Senkottaiyan. As A.S. Mani was arrested at 10:30 in the morning and this attempted murder did not take place until 11 a.m., it has to have been trumped up. The other charge is an escape attempt during the night of 20 July. That is also impossible as he was unconscious all night as a result of being brutally tortured. Meanwhile, he is still being denied access to a lawyer.

How have the court appearances gone?

A judge went to the police station at 10 a.m. on 20 July at Police Commissioner S.R. Jangid’s request and, without even seeing or speaking to A.S. Mani, ordered his transfer to Puzhal Chennai prison. He was taken before the same judge on 22 July, again in Egmore police station. This time the judge ordered that he be held in the police station for five days. It should be stressed that this was against the law. I would also like to point out that A.S. Mani’s relatives paid 65,000 rupees to Jangid and Chandrasekaran at the latter’s request on 20 July in the hope that he would not be tortured any more.

What is his state of health?

We do not know very much. We only know that he saw a doctor once, in Chromepet general hospital. But he was forbidden to mention the torture to the doctor. And by giving the doctor a bribe, the police got a certificate saying that he was fine.



Genevieve Belmaker

Genevieve Belmaker is a freelance journalist and contributing editor with The Epoch Times ( She also contributes to Quill, the magazine of the Society of Professional Journalists and Her blog on journalism is

Genevieve has traveled throughout the U.S., Asia, Central America, Israel and the West Bank for reporting assignments, including major investigative reports on the recovery of New Orleans, the encroaching presence of China in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the dangerous import of melamine-contaminated milk into the U.S. and settlement outposts in the West Bank. She regularly reports on issues related to journalism, and the work of journalists.

She holds a BA from the University of Southern California in International Relations, and has been a member of several prominent national and international professional media organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the International Women’s Media Foundation, the New York Press Club, and the Newswomen’s Club of New York. She lives in Jerusalem, Israel with her husband and son.

Areas of Focus:
New Media; Journalism; Culture and Society