IIOJK Press Club condemns smear campaign against journalist Baba Umar

Srinagar, February 28, 2021 (PPI-OT): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir Press Club (KPC) has strongly condemned the false and motivated smear campaign against a Kashmiri journalist working with an international media organisation. Journalist Baba Umar who is currently working with an international news organisation in Turkey in an email to the Kashmir Press Club stated that false allegations were leveled in a factually incorrect and libelous article by the Greek City Times, a “Greek lifestyle site” headquartered in Sydney.

This baseless article was later amplified by Zee News and other Indian channels without fact checking or seeking the version of Baba, the KPC said in a statement. As is clear from the testimony of journalist Baba Umar and also the stories run by fact checking websites www.altnews.in and a news portal reporting on media – News laundry, the reports against Baba Umar are “factually incorrect and deliberately misleading,” the KPC statement read.

In fact, once the facts were brought to the fore by Baba Umar, the Sydney based hitherto unknown “lifestyle” site also issued an apology but later on carried a fresh baseless and misleading article targeting Kashmiri journalists working abroad including Baba Umar, the KPC stated. “Just a few days ago, Zee News ran a news piece authored by Mr. Manish Shukla in which he claimed he had been interviewed by Pieter Friedrich”, Baba Umar, who is a “senior producer” with TRT World- a reputed global news organisation headquartered at Istanbul-said in his testimony e-mailed to the Club.

Baba said that he was never interviewed by Friedrich as claimed in the article. He said that Zee News didn’t even bother to check its own screen grab or watch the entire interview on YouTube “which clearly shows Friedrich had spoken with some Umar Baba, a researcher based in South Korea, not me”.

“I don’t even know Friedrich and was never ever interviewed by him.” he told the Club in the testimony adding “without checking the facts, Zee News, Indian Narrative, IANS, joined by several other Indian websites ran the impugned article originally loaned from a “dubious” Greek website. The Press Club reiterated that the Kashmiri journalists have every right to write and report in Kashmir or anywhere in the world and should not be discriminated against because of their identity.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549
Fax: +92-51-4861736
Email: info@kmsnews.org
Website: www.kmsnews.org

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