IFJ Warns Over Safety Crisis in India Following Journalist Casualties in Srinagar attack

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, today expressed deep concern over the militant attack in Srinagar on Friday, in which at least seven journalists were injured, one of them still battling for his life.

"Journalists in the strife torn Kashmir valley are continually in the line of fire, and are doing their job of informing the public at great personal risk," said IFJ President Christopher Warren.

The casualty toll is the highest ever for journalists in the Valley in a single incident. In an attack in the heart of Srinagar on Friday, July 29, militants killed two people and injured 14 others, including seven journalists. Around 5 p.m. when Budshah Chowk, in the heart of the city, was bustling with activity, militants hurled a grenade on a police vehicle, which caught fire.

Police and Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, posted in the area in large numbers, retaliated with indiscriminate firing.
Another grenade exploded as media persons arrived on the scene to cover the incident. Ejaz Ahmed and Aamir Ahmed (ANI), Manzoor Ahmed (India TV), Muzamil Rashid (Srinagar Mail), Firdous Ahmed (Zee Kashmir) and Amir Hussain (Subhe Kashmir) sustained injuries and were shifted to hospital.

A victim of the cross fire, Sahara TV cameraman Muzaffar Ahmed was admitted to hospital after he sustained bullet injuries in his abdomen. He is reportedly struggling for his life. Two militant outfits, Al Mansoorian and Jamiat-ul Mujahideen, have claimed responsibility for the attack in separate statements to a local news agency.

"The events of Friday expose once more the risks that journalists are subjected to when covering political turmoil, scenes of violence and cross fire between armed groups and security personnel," said the IFJ President.

"We urge all journalists to take great care and we urge media employers to ensure their staff are fully trained and insured before being sent on dangerous assignments," said Warren.

The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries
For more information please contact Christopher Warren +61 (0) 411 757 668