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Hurriyat leaders denounce lodging of FIRs against journalists

Srinagar, April 22 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Hurriyat leaders and organizations have strongly condemned the booking of noted Kashmiri journalists, Gowhar Geelani, Peerzada Ashiq and Masarrat Zahra, under serious charges for their posts on social media and news stories related to the Indian atrocities in the territory. APHC leader and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Political Movement, Khawaja Firdous, in a statement issued in Srinagar denounced in strong terms the filing of cases against the journalists. He said that the Kashmiri journalists were trying to convey the voice of Kashmiris to the world to some extent through their pen and camera, even in such a difficult situation when India had imposed strict lockdown and ban on Internet in the occupied territory.

Khawaja Firdous said the harassment and torture of Kashmiri journalists spokes volumes about India’s tactics to control the flow of information from the occupied territory. He said that such actions were actually aimed at suppressing the ongoing freedom movement and to hide Indian atrocities in the territory from the outside world. He appealed to the international community to take steps to protect the journalists in occupied Kashmir and impress upon India to allow them to carry on their work without any fear and intimidation. APHC leader and the Chairperson of Muslim Khawateen Markaz, Yasmeen Raja, in her statement termed the filing of FIRs against the Kashmiri journalists as an attack on the freedom of press and a violation of human rights. She said that the Kashmiri people including media persons had been facing harassment and atrocities at the hands of Indian troops for the past over seven decades.

Tehreek-e-Wahdat-e-Islami in a statement issued in Srinagar while terming the charges against three Kashmiri journalists as outrageous said such policies on part of Modi-led Indian regime are depictive of how the media is stifled in occupied Kashmir and how various intimidating tools are used to stop media persons from reporting the truth about Kashmir. It maintained that India can’t hide its crimes against the Kashmiri people by silencing media in the territory. Meanwhile, Hurriyat AJK leader, Engineer Mushtaq Mehmood in a statement issued in Islamabad termed the filing of cases against the Kashmiri journalists as frustration of the Indian authorities. He said that through such actions, India could not hide the gross human rights violations being perpetrated by its troops in occupied Kashmir. He also deplored the criminal silence adopted by the international community on the Indian state terrorism in the occupied territory.