Srinagar, September 24 (KMS): The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate Indian Journalists Union (IJU) have asked the authorities to stop persecuting journalists for doing their jobs.

Aaqib, an accredited journalist with Kashmir Observer, was verbally summoned by the Cyber Police station on September 18 over his story, ‘The real cyberbully: Police in Kashmir question Twitter Users’ which appeared in ‘Article 14”, a New Delhi-based web portal.

According to Aaqib, he was slapped twice by a masked cop outside the room of Superintendent of Police of the Cyber Wing, Tahir Ashraf Bhatii when he was on his way to meet the officer on Saturday. The SP, he said, had also hurled choicest abuses at him.

The IFJ and IJU in a statement issued in Srinagar, today, condemned the police’s highhandedness and urged the Indian authorities to stop such violence and intimidation” of journalists.

“The summoning of journalists by police has become a common practice in the valley. The higher ups in the police and agencies must sensitize the subordinates to respect freedom of expression rights of media,” IJU President Geetartha Pathak said in a joint statement issued today.

The IFJ said that it had documented a disturbing series of attacks and harassment of media and journalists in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir following extended internet shutdown.

“The IFJ demands that the authorities stop persecuting journalists and media workers for doing their jobs and ensure that any internet restrictions are lifted,” the statement said.

The statement said, the journalists in the territory are frequently harassed, threatened and summoned particularly over any criticism of the Indian government revocation of article 370 which led to the internet shutdown in August 2019.


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