The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses serious concern over the detainment of Kamran Yusuf, a freelance photojournalist, in Kashmir, India on September 4. The IFJ demands immediate release of the photojournalist.
Yusuf, a 23-year-old native of Pulwama in South Kashmir who contributed photographs to several local newspapers including Greater Kashmir, was arrested by the National Investigation Authority (NIA) on September 4 on grounds of instigating stone pelting at security personnel and was transferred to New Delhi for interrogation the next day. He was sent to custody for 10 days and is yet to be formally charged.
The Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) expressed ‘serious concern over the “continuous detention” of Yusuf and asked authorities to immediately release him. The Kashmir Young Journalists Association (KYJA) staged a sit-in at press enclave in Srinagar against the arrest of Yousuf on September 11 demanding that the NIA make public the charges against him.
The NIA is a central agency established by the Government of India to combat terror in 2008 and has sweeping powers in dealing with terror related crimes across states in India.
The IFJ said: “The arrest and detainment of freelance photojournalist Kamran Yusuf by the National Investigation Agency in Kashmir, India without formal charges is an attempt to intimidate the journalist community. Photojournalists are required as part of their professional duty to be present at the places of protests and sit-ins and take photographs of these incidents, and such presence cannot be termed as participation in the incidents. The IFJ demands immediate release of the photojournalist and urges the Indian government to ensure that the power granted to agencies such as the NIA are not misused against journalists.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries