Paris, November 04 (KMS): The Paris-based international media advocacy group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF – Reporters Sans Frontiers), has said that in occupied Kashmir, journalists are often the targets of violence by Indian soldiers.

The RSF in its report on India with the title, ‘Threat from Modi’s nationalism’ released on its website said that coverage of regions that Indian authorities regard as sensitive, such as occupied Kashmir, continued to be very difficult and there were no protective mechanisms.

Referring to 2016 mass uprising in occupied Kashmir, the report said that the Internet was cut by the military and was often interrupted thereafter to prevent communication between protesters and prevent coverage by the media and citizen journalists.

The report said that Hindu nationalists were trying to purge all manifestations of anti-India thought from the debate and self-censorship was growing in the Indian media.

“Journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists, who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals. Prosecutions are also used to gag journalists who are overly critical of the government, with some prosecutors invoking Section 124-a of the penal code, under which sedition is punishable by life imprisonment,” the report said.

It asked the Indian authorities to identify and prosecute those responsible for the many death threats against journalists in the past two weeks. It reminded Modi government that the safety of journalists was a cornerstone of democracy and the rule of law.

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