CPJ asks India to stop assaulting journalists

Foreign Desk Report

NEW YORK: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged authorities in Indian occupied Kashmir on Thursday to drop police investigation against Gowhar Geelani, a freelance columnist, reiterating its call to stop harassing Kashmiri journalists and allow them to report freely.
The Srinagar police said in a press release that it had opened a probe against Geelani, a former correspondent for German public broadcaster Deutsche Well, over his posts on social media, according to CPJ, a New York-based watchdog body. Since April 19, police have also opened investigations into the work of freelance photojournalist Masrat Zahra and The Hindu reporter, Peerzada Ashiq. The police press release, issued on Thursday, accused Geelani of “indulging in unlawful activities” that were “prejudicial to the national integrity, sovereignty and security of India,” It also claimed that Geelani’s posts were “glorifying terrorism.”
“Journalists are not terrorists, and police in Jammu and Kashmir must stop treating them as such,” Aliya Iftikhar, CPJ’s senior Asia correspondent, in New York, said. “Authorities should immediately drop their investigations into Gowhar Geelani, Masrat Zahra, and Peerzada Ashiq, and allow them all to report freely” she said.