Journalists, Free Press Silenced By Indian Government In Kashmir – UN Rapporteurs

India’s bid to prosecute Kashmiri journalists suggests a “pattern of silencing independent reporting on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir through the threat of criminal sanction,” according to a report by three UN special rapporteurs.

The report, sent to the Indian government on May 12, documented the cases of four Kashmiri journalists over the past five months – Naseer Ganai, Gowhar Geelani, and Masrat Zahra, all of whom have been booked under an anti-terror law; and Peerzada Ashiq, who was been questioned twice about his stories.

“In this regard, we recall that penalization of a journalist solely for being critical of the government or the political system espoused by the government is incompatible with the State’s obligations under the international human rights law,” reads the report shared on the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHCR) this week.

The three UN rapporteurs – on the protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, arbitrary detention, and situation of human rights defenders – also expressed concern at the “apparent disregard for the prohibition on unlawful and arbitrary interference in the private life of individuals and journalistic privilege.”


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