Kashmir cyber-police threaten, slap reporter who questioned their methods

Kashmiri journalist Auqib Javeed said he was “questioned for five hours at the police station and slapped, threatened and humiliated” in the capital Srinagar. This happened after he wrote a story for Article 14 about the methods used by the cyber-police to question social media users.

This statement was originally published on on 23 September 2020.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the threats and violence, including being slapped in the face, to which Kashmiri journalist Auqib Javeed was subjected during a five-hour interrogation by cyber-police in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, after writing about their intimidation of Twitter users. Such behaviour is unacceptable in a democracy, RSF says.

“I fear for my life now,” Javeed told RSF. “I believe that the authorities could go to any lengths to silence me and could arrest me on an fabricated charge.” He was clearly still in a state of shock when he spoke to RSF on 21 September and, earlier that day, he had written about his brutal treatment by the police two days before.

A member of the Srinagar cyber-police called Javeed on 18 September and asked him to come to their headquarters the next day. When Javeed asked him whether everything was all right, he replied, “We will have a cup of tea.” This is an expression that police in authoritarian Asian regimes often use when they plan to grill a journalist or dissident.

When Javeed responded to the summons the next day, he says he was “questioned for five hours at the police station and slapped, threatened and humiliated.”


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