Paris, January 29, 2019 (PPI-OT): Paris-based Reporters Without Borders or Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) has strongly condemning the exclusion of a dozen of accredited Kashmiri reporters from covering a function in Srinagar by Indian police has said that barring these reporters was a serious press freedom violation.
The police had prevented several journalists from covering Indian Republic Day function in Srinagar on 26th January. The RSF in a statement posted on its website said that Indian security officials cited “adverse reports” as grounds for preventing the journalists from entering a stadium, the site of the event, although they were duly accredited by the authorities of the occupied territory.
“This blatant press freedom violation is all the more shocking because it concerns a key Republic of India event involving the rule of law,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “This police-imposed ban has all the hallmarks of a measure designed to intimidate journalists who do not toe the Indian government line and are therefore being blacklisted. We urge the Jammu and Kashmir state authorities to shed light on this unacceptable decision and to end the surge in abuses affecting journalists in the Kashmir Valley,” he added.
The Indian security services have been stepping up press freedom violations of late in Kashmir, the statement said. As reported by RSF, police deliberately fired shotgun pellets at reporters last week, injuring four of them. Kashmir Narrator journalist Aasif Sultan has been held for more than five months on completely specious grounds, it added. The statement said that the plight of journalists in occupied Kashmir was one of the many reasons why India was ranked no better than 138th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.
For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549