In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, while people from all walks of life have been facing severe difficulties after the Narendra Modi-led fascist Indian government of Bharatiya Janata Party illegally repealed Kashmir’s special status on August 5, last year and imposed a military siege, the journalists are also facing hurdles in performing their professional duties.
Yousuf Jameel, a Srinagar-based prominent journalist, wrote in an article published on Voice of America-Urdu.com that when the Indian government abolished Article 370 on August 5, 2019, it was not only regional but also big news globally.
He wrote that complaints about detention of journalists, who were critical of the Indian government, had been common over the past one year, while communication restrictions and the closure of the Internet had made it difficult for them to continue their journalistic duties.
He wrote that several journalists, who opposed the Indian government’s measures, were charged with sedition and many are still imprisoned, while, the Indian government has claimed that there are no restrictions on expression in the Valley and that journalists are not being harassed.
On the other hand, the international human rights organization, Amnesty International, called for the immediate release of journalists, the lifting of restrictions on the media and the necessary steps to ensure the protection of freedom of expression in the occupied territory.
Amnesty has also said that the authorities’ measures are tantamount to media censorship which are undemocratic.
The article said that Amnesty International had also released a documentary on “Freedom of the Press and Media in Jammu and Kashmir” highlighting the plight of Kashmiri journalists and the steps taken by the Indian government after August 5, 2019. Journalists have mentioned the steps taken by the Indian agencies, especially the police, against journalists.
Earlier in April, New York-based Human Rights Watch had expressed concern over registration of criminal cases against three local journalists and described such measures as a violation of press freedom.—KMS