Stop intimidating journalists, drop all charges: IFJ

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Srinagar: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has urged the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir “to stop intimidating journalists and drop all charges.”

This week, the police booked two Kashmiri journalists — Masrat Zahra and Gowhar Geelani — for their posts on social media platforms, which the police claimed were a threat to national security and sovereignty. The police also registered an FIR against The Hindu’s story reported by Peerzada Ashiq for alleged “factual inaccuracy” and questioned the journalist.

The IJU said: Such action of police against journalists is nothing but a gag on press freedom and the right to freedom of speech and expression.”

IFJ said: “The use of stringent acts like the UAPA to criminalise social media and the press is undeniably an attempt to silence journalists. The IFJ condemns the treatment of Masrat Zahra, Peerzada Ashiq and Gowhar Geelani and urges the investigation, on spurious charges, be withdrawn.”

Various rights groups and Kashmir Press Club also called out harassment of journalists in Kashmir by the police — and demanded to withdraw the charges.

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