In Kashmir, press freedom touched new lows in 2020. More journalists were summoned, beaten up, intimidated, and jailed by the authorities as the state-imposed stricter laws to regulate the functioning of independent publications. Here are The Kashmir Walla’s best reads on deteriorating press freedom in the region:
The media policy is being proposed at a time when the press across the world struggles with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I washed and re-washed the same t-shirt. By the time I got new ones, my t-shirt had 119 holes. When I was released, I walked out of the jail in the same t-shirt. I wanted to tell everyone in the world what they did to me. It was a story of subjugation.
In Kashmir, the Indian establishment is curbing freedom of the press in the same breath as it vows to defend it. It is the only explanation for its priorities – interrogating journalists over what the police has slyly termed “fake news” and “glorification of terrorism” – amid a spreading pandemic.
Nothing can fill the void of Aasif Sultan’s absence. At nights, when his 2-year-old daughter would cry, Ms. Akhter wishes if there was someone to look after her; play with her; or just hold her in the arms. There isn’t and she is alone in this.
A policy that makes censorship legal and journalism crime is not acceptable. Stenography is not journalism. Journalism is not a crime.
In 2020, The Kashmir Walla also launched a new project called – Free Speech Defence Collective, an initiative to promote and defend freedom of speech.