Brussels, December 13 (KMS): The International Federation of Journalists has said that in addition to the blockade of information for local journalists, it is almost impossible for the international media to report on Kashmir due to non-issuance of journalist visas.

The IFJ in a statement in Brussels expressed serious concerns over the arrest and detention of French journalist Paul Comiti, who was arrested by Indian police while filming pellet victims in Kashmir on Sunday. It demanded his immediate release.

The IFJ said the restrictions are attempts to control access to information by denying journalists their legitimate rights. The IFJ also urged the Indian government to ensure respect to international standards of dealing with journalists.

The IFJ said: “The IFJ expresses serious concerns over the arrest and detention of French journalist Paul Comiti in Kashmir, India and demands his immediate release.

“In addition to the blockade of information for local journalists, it is almost impossible for the international media to report on Kashmir due non-issuance of journalist visas.

“The IFJ believes these restrictions are attempts to control access to information by denying journalists their legitimate rights. The IFJ also urges the Indian government to ensure that it respects international standards of dealing with journalists,” IFJ said.

On Sunday, Kashmir police arrested Comiti for ‘violating visa regulations’ by filming protest activities in Kashmir, and presented him to the court, which remanded him on custody for five days.

Comiti, 47, was visiting Kashmir to research for his documentary on a business visa valid until December 2018.

Meanwhile, Indian Journalists Union (IJU), representing organisation of working journalists in the country in a statement said, “It is practice by scribes to visit conflict place on business visas. It demanded that the French journalist Paul Comiti should be immediately released.


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