KJA condemns harassment of media persons » Kashmir Media Service

Demands withdrawal of cases against 3 journalists

Srinagar, April 24 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Kashmir Journalists Association (KJA) has strongly condemned the harassment of media persons by Indian police and expressed serious concern over the series of FIRs filed against three journalists.

The KJA in a statement issued in Srinagar expressed deep concern over Kashmiri journalists being booked for sharing their work and expressing their opinion on social media. It said media acts as a watchdog in a democratic society as professionals associated with it highlight different issues concerning people. “However, in Kashmir, journalists are being intimidated and booked under various charges which discourages them from performing their duties. Such acts go against democratic norms,” it said.

The KJA said that the constitution has already guaranteed freedom of speech and expression to journalists, but it was being curbed by the police using pressure tactics as they filed cases against many journalists over the years.

It urged the Indian government to stop harassment against media persons saying that it was creating a huge gulf especially amid the prevailing coronavirus pandemic. The journalist body demanded that cases and charges against journalists, Peerzada Ashiq, Masarrat Zahra and Gowhar Geelani be withdrawn immediately.

The KJA further said that many incidents of journalists being harassed, summoned and physically attacked have been reported since August 5, 2019. Also, the professional journalists have worked for months together amid a frustrating period due to communications blockade, it added.

The KJA said that quelling dissent as spelt out by the Indian Supreme Court is not in the interest of society as it is “safety valve of democracy”.

It demanded of the occupation authorities to allow the journalists to work freely without any harassment.

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