In occupied Kashmir, several journalists associations have demanded the release of journalist, Asif Sultan of Batamaloo from police custody.
The chief spokesman of Kashmir Working Journalist Association (KWJA) and Kashmir Journalist Association (KJA) in a statement in Srinagar condemned his arrest.
“We are outraged to learn that journalist, Asif Sultan, has been under illegal detention at Batamaloo police station for the last six days. We demand his immediate release from illegal custody,” he said. Asif Sultan, an assistant editor with the monthly newsmagazine, Kashmir Narrator, has been picked up from his home at Batamaloo on Monday night, purportedly for questioning, and since then police has not released him, he added. The associations also demanded disciplinary and legal action against police officials for violation of the fundamental rights of an individual.
Meanwhile, the Washington-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in a statement expressed deep concern over the ongoing detention and interrogation of Kashmiri journalist, Asif Sultan.
Asif has been subject to repeated interrogation by police in detention, according to his editor at the magazine, Kashmir Narrator, Showkat Motta, who told CPJ that he had been able to visit Asif Sultan in jail every day. Police, according to Motta, have demanded that Sultan reveal the sources for a cover story that he wrote for the magazine on Burhan Wani, the prominent Kashmiri martyred youth leader.
“Police should immediately release Asif Sultan from jail and halt efforts to pressure him to reveal sources or become an informer,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia programme coordinator. “By reporting on freedom activists’ activities, Sultan is performing an important public service, not committing a crime,” Steven Butler added.
According to Asif Sultan’s father, Mohammad Sultan, police along with soldiers from Central Reserve Police Force raided their home on the night of August 27 at 11:15 p.m. and continued until 1:45am the next day.—KMS