Statement: Fahad Shah, our editor, completes two months’ imprisonment

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Srinagar: Fahad Shah, the founder and editor-in-chief of The Kashmir Walla, has completed two months in custody that revolved in four police stations across the valley — and, finally, in jail in north Kashmir.

Shah was first arrested on 4 February evening by the Pulwama police under India’s anti-terror law – Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and sedition for The Kashmir Walla’s reporting of events at a gunfight. The special court under NIA Act granted him bail on 26 February. He was subsequently arrested by the Shopian police in a case registered in January 2021 against the news magazine’s reporting. He was bailed out on 5 March by the magistrate … only to be re-arrested in the evening by the Srinagar police for a case registered two years ago, in July 2020. 

Amid a lasting arrest-bail-arrest-bail saga — before the bail hearing in the final case — Shah was detained under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA). The Jammu and Kashmir PSA allows authorities to detain a person for up to two years without formal charges or a trial. Shah is currently lodged in the Kupwara Jail, nearly a hundred kilometers away from his home.

Shah’s award-winning journalistic integrity garnered a solid league of solidarity from top international publications as the calls from several rights advocacy groups for his immediate release continue to echo. 

Shah’s imprisonment has jolted planks of independent journalism in Kashmir, which society needs now more than ever. Despite that, millions have continued to place their trust in The Kashmir Walla’s reporting and empower us financially to be editorially independent and open to all. We need your support to sustain. (Click here)

The Kashmir Walla team continues to stand firmly behind Shah and his family in these most difficult and dire times. And the team reiterates the appeal to the Manoj Sinha-led administration for the immediate release of Shah and to drop all charges against his journalistic work.

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