IOK journalists being coerced to toe particular line: KPC » Kashmir Media Service

Srinagar, September 04 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the Kashmir Press Club (KPC) has expressed serious concern over the unprecedented communication blockade in the territory and criticised the Indian authorities for asking senior journalists to vacate the so-called media facilitation centre describing the action as harassment aimed at coercing journalists to toe a particular line.

The KPC in a statement issued in Srinagar said, “At least three senior Kashmiri journalists Aijaz Hussain, Fayaz Bukhari and Nazir Masoodi were asked to vacate the centre as soon as possible, which is nothing but harassment aimed at coercing journalists to toe a particular line.”

Denouncing the curbs imposed on media and journalists in occupied Kashmir, the press club’s executive body in a meeting said that due to unprecedented communication blockade affecting mobile, Internet and landline telephone, journalists have been “crippled, overwhelmingly disabling them from reporting the ground situation”.

“Since the communication blockade was imposed on August 5, the club took up the issue with authorities on several occasions, urging them to restore mobile phones, Internet and telephone landlines to journalists and media outlets, including newspapers, and also the club itself,” the statement said.

“But all these efforts have proved to be futile as these services have not been restored to journalists till date,” the KPC said. It said currently, hundreds of journalists – both local and visiting and media workers – are forced to wait in queues for their turn to file assignments at the makeshift media facilitation centre here. “The centre is equipped with only five computers and a low speed Internet connection,” the statement added.

The executive committee meeting also expressed serious concern over the harassment of Kashmiri journalists and pressure tactics adopted by the authorities, the statement added.

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