Assault Undermines Claim of Restored Press Rights in Kashmir

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is

shocked to learn of an attack on Riyaz Masroor,

a senior journalist, near his home in the Alucha Bagh neighbourhood of Srinagar, capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.



to information accessed by the IFJ, Masroor was attacked by police on his way

to collect a curfew pass from the State Government’s Information Department,

after receiving a telephone call asking for his presence. Masroor’s press pass

had been cancelled as part of the security clampdown that began on July 7,

following month-long civil disturbances in the valley.



sources report that the journalist was leaving home on the morning of July 9 to

visit the department’s office when he was stopped at a police checkpoint on the

main thoroughfare near his home.



of the Jammu and Kashmir

police reportedly did not ask him why he was stepping out during the curfew,

nor did they wait for an explanation.



was attacked with heavy batons and forced to return home. He suffered injuries to

his hip and right wrist.


The attack

comes soon after a traumatic day for the Kashmir

media on July 6, when 12 media workers, mostly still and video camera operators

working for local, national and international media, suffered serious injuries

at the hands of security personnel seeking to enforce a total curfew.


“The IFJ is

shocked and concerned that Riyaz Masroor

was deemed to be in violation of the Kashmir curfew

when he was simply responding to a summons to pick up a fresh curfew pass from the

Information Department of the State Government,” IFJ

Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


“The IFJ

is not convinced by the official claim by Kashmir’s

authorities that all official permissions for journalists to pass through

curfew-bound areas have been restored.”


The IFJ has

serious worries over the continuing clampdown on the media in the Kashmir region, now into its fifth day, and notes that

the Delhi Union of Journalists, the Editors’

Guild of India and the Press Club of India have reacted with strong condemnation

of the attacks on the press.


“We hope

that these expressions of solidarity with the journalists of Kashmir and

outrage at troubles in the region will convince the authorities in India that they must reverse their approach and

lift the restrictions on the press operating in Kashmir,”

Park said.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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