IFJ Protests Over Death of Freelance Journalist in India

The International Federation of Journalists has sent a letter of protest to the Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, expressing its utmost sadness over the death of freelance journalist Asiya Jeelani in an explosion in Northern Kashmir.


The IFJ have protested to the Prime Minister of India in the following letter:



29 April 2004



Prime Minister of India

Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee

3, Race Course Road,

New Delhi-110001

INDIA



CC. L K Advani

Deputy Prime Minister

VIA FACSIMILE: +91 11 301 9817

Via email: poi_sug@rb.nic.in



Dear Mr Vajpayee,


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation of journalists representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is deeply concerned over the death of freelance journalist Asiya Jeelani and the injuring of Khurram Parvez and Kumar Bharti.


On 20 April, Asiya Jeelani, a freelance journalist, was killed in a mine explosion in India controlled Kashmir, whilst working with the Coalition of Civil society to prepare a report on its election monitoring activities.


A detonated explosive device on a rural road in Northern Kashmir killed both Jeelani and the driver of the van. Jeelani died on route to the hospital. Khurram Parvez and Kumar Bharti, the two monitors also traveling in the van, are being treated in Srinagar hospital for injuries sustained in the explosion.


The Coalition has since stopped all monitoring activities, due to potential danger.


The explosion was followed by a separate incident in Khulgam in Southern Kashmir, on 25 April, according to reports a grenade was thrown by militants at Mehbooba Mufti, People's Democratic Party (PDP) president and exploded near a vehicle transporting Sheikh Tariq, cameraperson with the New Delhi Television (NDTV) and his diver Mohammad Ismail. Both Ismail and Tariq were injured in the explosion.


The IFJ is deeply saddened by the above events and calls on the Central Government of India to seek a peaceful solution to the dispute over Kashmir, to ensure that innocent civilians, such as the journalists involved in the above incidents, are not caught in the cross fire.


The IFJ calls on the Central Government of India to take all necessary steps to ensue the safety of including journalists and media workers in India.


Yours sincerely,




Christopher Warren

President, IFJ




Recommended action:


Send appeals:


  • Expressing concern for the death of Asiya Jeelani


  • Expressing concern over the injuries sustained by Mohammad Ismail, Sheikh Tariq, Khurram Parvez and Kumar Bharti


  • Calling on the Central Government of India to seek a peaceful solution to the dispute over Kashmir


  • Urging the Prime Minister to ensure press freedom and the safety of journalists in India.



    Appeals:


    Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee

    Prime Minister of India


    Email: poi_sug@rb.nic.in


    For further information please contact IFJ Asia at ifj-asia@alliance.org.au


    Please copy appeals to the IFJ Asia Office at ifj-asia@alliance.org.au