Hundreds of Activists Ask PM Modi to Release Kashmiri Journalist

Srinagar, MINA – Hundreds of activists wrote letters to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding the release of Kashmiri journalist Asif Sultan who was detained for two years.

The letter, issued by the Journalist Protection Committee, has been signed by 400 activists consisting of journalists and civil society from around the world. Thus quoted from Anadolu Agency reported on Saturday, August 29.

Sultan was arrested on 27 August 2018 and charged under controversial anti-terror laws.

“The suspect has a source that is critical of the government, what he is doing is within the scope of the work of journalists and does not involve them in any crime. Events in Kashmir are of public interest, and covering them is a public service, not a criminal act, ”the New York-based group said in the letter.

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“The Sultan’s trial which began in June 2019 has been slow and the authorities have repeatedly denied his bail,” the letter added.

“Police are reported to have interrogated him about his writing and asked him to reveal his source,” read the letter.

The 34-year-old journalist covers politics and human rights for Kashmir Narrator, a monthly news magazine published in Srinagar, the capital of India’s Jammu and Kashmir.

He is married and has a 2 year old daughter, who was six months old when he was arrested.

Showkat Motta, editor of Narrator Kashmir, told Anadolu Agency: “Asif was framed. He has been targeted for his bold journalism. ”

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He wrote for the magazine a detailed profile of Burhan Wani, a leader of Kashmiri fighters who was killed in fighting with Indian forces in 2016, and has since become a symbol of protests against the Indian government in the disputed region.

The journalist is languishing in the Srinagar Central Prison, where it is reported that more than 100 inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus.

There was no immediate response from Modi’s government to the statement. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)