The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Jammu and Kashmir police to immediately cease all legal proceedings against journalist Aasif Sultan and release him from jail after local news outlets reported that formal charges were filed against him today, said a statement.
In a statement CPJ said, Sultan, along with nine other individuals, has been charged with harboring and giving support to a militant organization and for hatching a criminal conspiracy under India’s Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
“Filing terrorism-related charges against journalist Aasif Sultan, despite a complete lack of evidence, marks a terrible injustice and further undermines press freedom in Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement quoted Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, from Washington, D.C as having said.
The statement said, “Is it so hard to understand that journalists, in the normal course of their work, must make contact with the people they write about?”
Sultan has been jailed since August 27, 2018, after he wrote a story for the Kashmir Narrator magazine on Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani, as CPJ reported at the time, said the statement.