Senior French Journalist Sébastien Farcis Forced to Leave India After ‘Work Ban’

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Farcis, who has reported from India for 13 years, claims the action threatens freedom of expression in the country.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Senior French journalist Sebastien Farcis was ordered to leave India after the Union home ministry imposed a “work ban” on him in what he described as incomprehensible censorship.

Farcis is the second French journalist to be allegedly forced out in four months, after Vanessa Dougnac, the longest-serving foreign correspondent in India, in February.

Farcis, who has reported from India for 13 years, claims the action threatens freedom of expression in the country.

“On June 17, I was forced to leave India, a country where I have resided for 13 years and have worked as a radio host for Radio France International, Radio France, Liberation, and Swiss and Belgian Public Radio South,” Sébastien Farcis stated. He expressed that his expulsion came without explanation from the Ministry of Home Affairs, despite his attempts to appeal.

Farcis is married to an Indian woman. He shared his dismay on social media, stating, “The government’s decision is surprising because I was previously allowed to report in sensitive border areas. This act of being banned from covering the general elections is incomprehensible censorship.”

Reflecting on his departure, Farcis said in a Radio France podcast, “I was not informed of any such action. My life and work have been disrupted because of one line in an email.”

His case is part of a broader trend of foreign journalists facing difficulties in India. Besides Vanessa Dugnac, Awani Dias, chief of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s South Asia Bureau, was also compelled to leave after her visa extension was denied due to her reporting on the killing of a Sikh militant.

Farcis’s forced exit has sparked a conversation about press freedom in India. “Freedom of expression in India is under threat day by day,” Farcis remarked. “In the last 10 years, especially in the last 5, the authoritarian turn of the country’s government has become more evident. Journalists and human rights activists who oppose injustices face severe repercussions.”

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