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Editors’ Guild condemns arrest of Fahad Shah, editor of the Kashmir Walla

Fahad Shah, centre sitting, editor-in-chief of Kashmir Walla, and other Kashmiri Journalists prepare for a meeting to discuss the shutting of Kashmir Press Club building, the region's only independent press club, in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir. File

Fahad Shah, centre sitting, editor-in-chief of Kashmir Walla, and other Kashmiri Journalists prepare for a meeting to discuss the shutting of Kashmir Press Club building, the region's only independent press club, in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir. File

The Editors Guild of India (EGI) has condemned the arrest of Fahad Shah , the editor of the Kashmir Walla , on the suspicious ground of glorifying terrorist activities, spreading fake news and inciting general public for creating law and order situation.

The EGI said the arrest was part of a larger trend in Kashmir of security forces calling journalists for questioning and often detaining them because of their critical reporting of the establishment.

“Shah had been questioned four days earlier for his reporting on a deadly police raid in Pulwama in late January that left four people dead. He has been summoned and detained multiple times for his writing over the past few years,” it said.

The Guild said: “In a separate incident, journalist Gowhar Geelani has also been summoned by the executive magistrate of Shopian district to appear in court on February 7 for 'acting in a manner prejudicial to public interest'. Last month, Sajad Gul, another journalist of Kashmir Walla , was also arrested because of his social media posts that were considered objectionable by the authorities.”

Stating that the space for media freedom had progressively eroded in Kashmir, the EGI said: “Last month, security forces abetted some journalists in a coup of the Kashmir Press Club management, and then later on State authorities shut down the club completely, reverting the land back to the Estates Department.”

The Guild urged the Jammu and Kashmir administration to respect democratic values and stop the harassment of journalists in the name of national security. “The Guild also demands immediate release of Fahad Shah as well as Sajad Gul, and to ensure that FIRs under harsh penal laws, intimidatory questioning, and wrongful detainment are not used as tools for suppressing journalists' rights,” it said.


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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 8:08:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/editors-guild-condemns-arrest-of-fahad-shah-editor-of-the-kashmir-walla/article38395980.ece