Brussels, July 17 (KMS):  Global media watchdogs, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), and Committee to Protect Journalists have condemned the summoning of Kashmiri journalist, Aaqib Javaid Hakim to New Delhi by India’s National Investigative Agency (NIA) for questioning.

Brussels-based IFJ in a statement posted on its website said that summoning of Hakim was clearly an attempt to intimidate the journalist community of Jammu and Kashmir and a gross misuse of the authority.

“The IFJ condemns the NIA over its summoning of a journalist from Srinagar to New Delhi, India for an interview. The summoning is clearly an attempt to intimidate the journalist community of Jammu and Kashmir; and a gross misuse of the authority. The IFJ urges the concerned authorities of India to immediately allow Hakim to conduct his professional activities as a journalist and refrain from harassing journalists in future,” the IFJ said

New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists in its statement urged the NIA to respect press freedom in occupied Kashmir and stop harassing Kashmiri reporter, Aaqib Javaid and the local English daily Greater Kashmir. Questioning Aaqib Javaid without a lawyer and trying to force Greater Kashmir to submit raw reporting material is a serious attack on press freedom in Jammu and Kashmir, said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia programme coordinator in Washington, D.C.

“These attempts to intimidate journalists will only force the flow of news and information to grind to a halt,” he added.

The National Investigative Agency (NIA) summoned Hakim to New Delhi and questioned him on July 14 and 15 over an interview, relating to a sedition case registered against Dukhtaran-e-Millat Chairperson, Aasiya Andrabi.

Hakim is not the first Kashmiri journalist to be intimidated by the NIA. Freelance photojournalist, Kamran Yousuf, was detained without charge by the NIA in September 2017 and was charged on January 18, 2018 as a “stone-pelter” and accused of carrying out “terrorist and secessionist activities” in occupied Kashmir. Presently, he is out on bail.


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