Srinagar : The Delhi Union of Journalists has expressed its deep concern at the prolonged denial of high speed Internet to journalists in Kashmir.
In a statement issued here DUJ said. “We regret this attempt to stifle the press in the region. Media organisations are barely able to function in the absence of high speed internet facilities. The government’s announcements that fixed line/broadband facilities have been restored are a sham. Facilities in the government’s media room are limited, with journalists queuing up to use the computers there.” reads the statement.
It further said that Journalists are forced to work on mobiles with low speed internet that seriously hampers their ability to access information, check data and facts and send news on time to their organisations.
Access has been limited to only 300 odd websites, denying access to many local, national and international websites. After the internet was snapped on August 5, 2019, it was slowly restored in phases over months.
“In a recent reversal, on Jan.14, 2020 access to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal was banned. An FIR under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) has been registered to deter those who resort to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to access various websites not on the approved list.” Reads the statement.
It further says that the Union expresss solidarity with the Kashmir Press Club “whose members brave many such hurdles and hazards in their pursuit of journalism. We condemn the recent harassment of Kamran Yousuf, a journalist working for Newsclick, who was picked up by police from his home on the night of Jan. 16.”
The Delhi Union of Journalists calls for an end to harassment of journalists, the immediate restoration of full Internet facilities and an early return to peace and normalcy in Kashmir.