Srinagar, April 22, 2020 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, Hurriyat leaders and organizations have strongly condemned the booking of noted Kashmiri journalists, Gowhar Geelani, Peerzada Ashiq and Masarrat Zahra, under serious charges for their posts on social media and news stories related to the Indian atrocities in the territory.
Senior APHC leader and Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Anjuman Sharie Shian, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi in a statement issued in Srinagar deplored that efforts were being made to demolish journalism, the fourth pillar of democracy, in occupied Kashmir. He said that journalists in the territory were being prevented from carrying out their professional duties in a free manner. He demanded immediate withdrawal of cases against Gowhar Geelani, Peerzada Ashiq and Masarrat Zahra.
APHC leader and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Political Movement, Khawaja Firdous, in a statement issued in Srinagar denounced in strong terms the filing of cases against the journalists. He said that the Kashmiri journalists were trying to convey the voice of Kashmiris to the world to some extent through their pen and camera, even in such a difficult situation when India had imposed strict lockdown and ban on Internet in the occupied territory. He appealed to the international community to take steps to protect the journalists in occupied Kashmir and impress upon India to allow them to carry on their work without any fear and intimidation.
APHC leader and the Chairperson of Muslim Khawateen Markaz, Yasmeen Raja, in her statement termed the filing of FIRs against the Kashmiri journalists as an attack on the freedom of press and a violation of human rights. She said that the Kashmiri people including media persons had been facing harassment and atrocities at the hands of Indian troops for the past over seven decades.
The Chairman of Islamic Political Party Jammu and Kashmir, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, in a statement said that booking journalists in occupied Kashmir to silence and censor their voices should be an eye opener for the world. He said, a terrifying situation is increasingly unfolding in occupied Kashmir due to the oppressive and draconian tactics unleashed by India in a bid to deprive the people of the territory of their democratic rights including right to political activities, right to peaceful assembly and expression as well as freedom of press to stifle the popular voices for inalienable right to self-determination. He urged the world take immediate measures in ensuring the restoration of political and democratic rights of the people of occupied Kashmir.
Tehreek-e-Wahdat-e-Islami in a statement issued in Srinagar while terming the charges against three Kashmiri journalists as outrageous said such policies on part of Modi-led Indian regime are depictive of how the media is stifled in occupied Kashmir and how various intimidating tools are used to stop media persons from reporting the truth about Kashmir. It maintained that India can’t hide its crimes against the Kashmiri people by silencing media in the territory.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat AJK leader, Engineer Mushtaq Mehmood in a statement issued in Islamabad termed the filing of cases against the Kashmiri journalists as frustration of the Indian authorities. He said that through such actions, India could not hide the gross human rights violations being perpetrated by its troops in occupied Kashmir. He also deplored the criminal silence adopted by the international community on the Indian state terrorism in the occupied territory.
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