CPJ Asks Indian Authorities To Immediately Release Kashmiri Journalist Sajad Gul

Committee to Protect Journalists says it is disturbed by the arrest of Independent journalist and media student from Indian Occupied Kashmir for his journalistic work.

NEW YORK (UrduPoint/UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News-Jan 8th, 2022) Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York based international organization, asked Indian authorities to immediately release a journalist in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), who was arrested only for uploading a video clip of a protest against Indian rule.

The global media watchdog said it was “deeply disturbed” by the arrest of Sajad Gul, an independent journalist and media student.

Taking to Twitter, Committee to Protect Journalists asked the Indian authorities to “drop their investigation related to his journalistic work”.

Indian soldiers picked up Gul from his home in northeastern Shahgund village on Wednesday night and later handed him over to the police, his family said. He had posted a video of family members and relatives protesting the killing of a freedom fighter on Monday.

Initially, police said he would be released but on Friday, his family was told that a formal case was opened against Gul on charges of criminal conspiracy and working against national integration.

If convicted, he faces life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

Journalists have increasingly voiced concerns about harassment and threats by the police that have effectively restricted reporting after India revoked IoK’s semi-autonomy and divided the region into two federally governed territories in 2019.

Many journalists have been arrested, beaten, harassed and sometimes investigated under anti-terrorism laws.

The Kashmir Press Club, an elected body of journalists in the region, has repeatedly urged the Indian government to allow them to report freely, saying security agencies were using physical attacks, threats and summons to muzzle the press.

India’s decision to strip the region of its special powers in August 2019 brought journalism to a near halt in IoK for months. India began implementing a policy in 2020 that gives the government more power to censure independent reporting.

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