New directive regulating press freedom leaves Indian journalists under threat
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2021
NEW YORK--Indian law enforcement established new regulations on journalists, including banning press coverage of militant attacks opposing Indian rule in Kashmir. India and Pakistan are fighting over control of Kashmir and have fought 2 wars over the Muslim majority region. In 2019, India revoked Kashmir’s constitutional autonomy and has since sent thousands of police and soldiers to act as peacekeepers in the region. The police chief in Kashmir rolled out new guidelines restricting live media coverage of gun battles and protests, citing the dangers of inciting violence and promoting anti-national sentiment. Police claimed that the presence of cameras and journalists in contentious zones in Kashmir has prompted people to engage in violent acts and break the law. The Kashmir Press Club said the attack compromises democracy.
Teens for Press Freedom spokesperson, Sami Campana-Gladstone said, “The repressive measures inflicted on journalists in Kashmir pose a grave threat to the status of press freedom in India. The police’s defamatory accusations that journalists have aggravated the attacks with their coverage aims to divert attention from the major issue of sovereignty within Kashmir. Restricting press freedom in the interest of protecting national security sets a dangerous precedent many governments could use to censor unbiased reporting and news. TPF supports the Kashmir Press Club’s stance on the devastating impact restricting press freedom could have on Indian democracy as a whole. We urge the government to roll back these guidelines and allow journalists to continue their work unobstructed.”
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