Vows to fight for innocent under-trials held under trumped up charges

He was arrested because he was a soft target on account of being a journalist who covered issues related to Iran, senior Urdu journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi said at a press conference here on Friday. He was arrested on March 7 this year in connection with the bombing of an Israeli diplomat’s car.

Mr. Kazmi announced that he would soon launch a forum to help innocent undertrials falsely implicated under terror charges. “I’ll create an organised forum which will support and help these victims and their families in fighting the legal battle. There will be no bar of religion or organisation,” he said, adding that the details will be announced soon.

The journalist listed out three reasons behind his arrest. “ Some countries want to isolate Iran on the nuclear issue. Since I have extensively worked in the media organisations of that country, I was arrested. Secondly, some elements want to spoil relations between India and Iran. Thirdly, these elements want to send a strong message to any independently thinking person that he will be punished if he tries to oppose their agenda.”

Mr. Kazmi has been a journalist since 1983 and has worked with various Iranian news organisations. He has travelled to Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan for various assignments. “I want to say that I haven’t fallen weak after my arrest. I have grown stronger and I now resolve to fight for those who have been arrested on fabricated charges,” he said.

He said that when the state arrests anyone on fabricated charges, it is a part of psychological warfare and that the victim and his family members need to be strong and support each other.

Senior Urdu reporters expressed dismay that nobody came forward to ask the reasons behind invoking the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the scribe without substantial evidence. “This isn’t a case of violation of human rights of a single individual. It is a systemic problem which raises questions on the way our democracy functions,” senior reporter S. Balakrishnan said.

Mr. Kazmi’s lawyer, Mehmood Pracha, said that people need to be aware of their rights.

“Many rogue elements within and outside the system want to implicate the innocents. I would say we should follow all the provisions of law. We have to start writing the day someone is detained. Do not believe the police when they tell you that they will release your relative within a few days. It only gives them time to build up a false case,” he said.

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