Call for Kashmiri journalist’s release after spurious charges
Kashmir Updates - February 14, 2019
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its call for Kashmiri journalist Aasif Sultan’s immediate and unconditional release on the eve of another hearing in his case. Held on nothing more than a police report since 24 August, he was finally charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act a week ago.
An assistant editor at the Kashmir Narrator monthly, Aasif Sultan is accused of “harbouring terrorists” and “hatching a criminal conspiracy” in connection with the fatal shooting of a policeman in August, according to the indictment unveiled in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-held Kashmir, on 7 February. His next hearing is due tomorrow.
“We call on the Indian justice system to act responsibly by releasing Aasif Sultan at once,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “At no point since the start of this case have the police produced any evidence to support their claims. Detaining a journalist provisionally for nearly six months constitutes a clear attempt to intimidate all journalists covering subjects that displease the security forces.”