Paris, February 15, 2019 (PPI-OT): Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders also called Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) has reiterated its demand for immediate and unconditional release of Kashmiri journalist, Aasif Sultan, on hearing in his case. The RSF in a statement issued in Paris said Aasif Sultan has been held on nothing more than a police report since August 24, 2018 and finally charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
“We call upon the Indian justice system to act responsibly by releasing Aasif Sultan at once,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. He said that at no point since the start of this case the police produced any evidence to support their claims. He said that detaining a journalist provisionally for nearly six months constitutes a clear attempt to intimidate all journalists covering subjects that displease the Indian forces’ personnel.
When RSF spoke to Aasif Sultan’s editor, Showkat A. Motta, ten days after his arrest, he said Aasif had been framed because of the profile of Buhran Wani, the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, that he wrote in July 2018 to mark his second martyrdom anniversary.
“Sultan’s case recalls that of Kamran Yousuf, a Kashmiri photojournalist who was held for six months on completely spurious charges following his arrest in September 2017,” the RSF statement added. It is to mention here that India is ranked 138th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.
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Kashmir Media Service
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