New York, January 16, 2019 (PPI-OT): The US-based independent non-profit and non-governmental organization, The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), has urged the Governor of occupied Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik, to release journalist Aasif Sultan and drop all charges against him. Asif has been held by Indian police since August 27, 2018.
Steven Butler, Asia Programme Coordinator of Committee to Protect Journalists in a letter to Governor Malik wrote: “We urge you (Governor) to use the authority vested in you as governor of Jammu and Kashmir to help immediately ensure that Aasif Sultan is released and that the charges against him are dropped”.
CPJ, an independent organization that advocates for press freedom worldwide, said “Sultan, a journalist with the Kashmir Narrator, has been falsely accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. His name was included in a First Information Report filed in Batamaloo on August 12.”
CJP said Sultan’s editor and family have credibly disputed allegations against him saying his work was strictly that of a journalist. “No charge sheet has been filed,” it said. In July 2018, Sultan wrote a cover story for the Kashmir Narrator on martyred youth leader, Burhan Wani.
“Police have reportedly subjected Sultan to repeated interrogation during his detention regarding the article, asking him to reveal his sources and why he reported on the conflict in Kashmir, as well as questions on headlines that appeared in the Kashmir Narrator and why he had not reported on development in” IOK, the CPJ said.
Police have also objected in court to his Facebook postings, it added. “Reporting on an important and newsworthy story such as the conflict in Kashmir is a public service, not a criminal act.” CPJ said Journalists have long operated in a dangerous environment in Kashmir, and the organisation was extremely concerned about the climate for press freedom.
For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549