NEW DELHI (AP) — Police in southern India have arrested the chief editor of a prominent investigative magazine on charges of publishing defamatory content against a top state official.

Police in Tamil Nadu arrested R.R. Gopal on Tuesday at the airport in the state’s capital, Chennai, as he was about to board a flight to a neighboring state.

Police said they arrested Gopal after his influential Tamil-language magazine, “Nakkeeran,” published reports linking the state’s governor to a recent university sex scandal.

Dozens of journalists and politicians protested the arrest, calling it an assault on freedom of expression.

In July, Reporters Without Borders expressed serious concern at “an alarming deterioration in the working environment of journalists in India” and demanded that the government ensure the safety of journalists.