The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) in strongly condemning the police attack on journalists at Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, May 5. The IFJ demands immediate action against policemen involved in the attack.
The police ruthlessly beat up journalists while they were covering protests after the Friday prayers in Sopore. The Station House Officer (SHO) of Sopore Mudasir Geelani reportedly led the police attack, in which photojournalists of Varmul Post Eeshan Peer and Mohd Younis of Gulistan were injured.
In a statement, the IJU said the repeated attacks on journalists covering the on-going volatile situation in the Kashmir Valley were a matter of deep concern.
The IJU added: “We demand that those responsible for the attack should be dealt with sternly. It should be noted that journalists in the Kashmir Valley are targets of attacks by the security forces and agitators. The journalists are discharging their duty of reflecting the ground situation which may not be palatable to either of the sides, thus becoming victims of violence from state and non-state players. The Union and state governments should take stern steps to prevent recurrence of such attacks.”
The IJU said it would be filing a complaint with the Press Council of India (PCI) to take cognisance of the incident and take appropriate action.
The IFJ said: “Kashmir is becoming a dangerous place for journalists to carry out their duties of reporting incidents in the public interest and disseminating news. There have been numerous attacks on journalists, especially photojournalists, leading to situation where free press and freedom of expression are dangerously compromised. The IFJ urges the Indian government and Kashmir authorities to ensure that journalists are able to perform their duties in a free and fearless manner.”
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