Siddique Kappan, an Indian journalist detained en route to cover an alleged rape, was freed from prison more than two years later.
The 43-year-old was detained in October 2020 in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where four guys from an upper caste had reportedly raped a young Dalit woman,
In India, the case had stirred demonstrations.
Police accused Mr. Kappan of planning to undermine law and order and encourage violence, which he denied.
He was in the car that day with three other men charged with similar offenses.
Press freedom advocates, who worry that India is increasingly risky for journalists, strongly opposed Mr. Kappan’s arrest. The nation fell eight spots on the 180-country Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index and was placed 150 the previous year.
Reporters critical of the government are frequently arrested and harassed on social media by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party supporters.
“The violence against journalists, the politically partisan media, and the concentration of media ownership all demonstrate that press freedom is in crisis in “the world’s largest democracy,” the report said.
Kappan has maintained his innocence and says he had only traveled from his home state of Kerala to do his duties as a journalist.
“I had only gone to report. What is wrong with that? I was only carrying two pens and a notepad,” he said.
Kappan’s protracted detention had caused global outrage, with the Committee to Protect Journalists calling the accusations “bogus.”