IFJ demands immediate release of journalist Aasif Sultan

Journalist Aasif Sultan

Srinagar: Demanding his “immediate release”, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the arrest of Kashmiri journalist Aasif Sultan.

In a statement issued today, the IFJ said Indian police arrested and detained the Assistant Editor of the ‘Kashmir Narrator’ over alleged militancy crimes and held him for six days without charge.

“The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Indian Journalist Union (IJU) in condemning the arrest and detention of Aasif Sultan and demands his immediate release,” the IFJ statement said.

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The IFJ said Sultan is not the first journalist in Kashmir to be arrested for ‘dubious charges of militancy’ involvement.

“Photojournalist Kamran Yousuf was detained for more than six months before finally being released on bail in March, 2018. Kashmir Observer daily’s Aqib Javed Hakim was also summoned to New Delhi and interrogated on July 14 and 15 this year over an interview with a separatist leader,” IFJ said.

The IFJ said the situation for journalists in Kashmir remains grim with media on the edge, particularly following the June 14 assassination of Shujaat Bukhari, the Editor of Rising Kashmir daily, outside his office by unidentified gunmen.

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IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “The arrest and charge against Asif Sultan for his reporting is deplorable and unacceptable. We demand his immediate release and urge the Indian to critically address the deteriorating situation for media workers in Kashmir who are increasingly being targeted for doing their job.” (GKNN)

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