Refrain from misusing authority to intimidate journalists in Kashmir: IFJ, IJU tells NIA

On Monday, The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Indian Journalists Union (IJU)  condemned the harassment of  journalist Auqib Javeed and demanded that NIA refrain from misusing its authority to intimidate journalists.

A statement was issued on Tuesday by the IJU which said that the NIA summons to Aqib Javed amounted to an attack on the freedom of the press and meant to intimidate journalists in Kashmir who were already working under difficult circumstances.

“The IJU regrets that the Centre is using the NIA as a tool to harass the journalists in Kashmir and alienating them from the mainstream. Doing interviews is part of the journalists’ duties and not a national security threat,” IJU President SN Sihna said.

He requested the Union Home Minister of India, Rajnath Singh’s intervention into the matter.

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The IFJ further said that the government must immediately allow Hakim to conduct his professional activities as a journalist and refrain from harassing journalists in future.

Earlier, The Committee to Protect Journalists asked India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) to stop “harassing” Kashmiri reporter Auqib Javeed and the local daily Greater Kashmir and to respect press freedom in Jammu and Kashmir.

The report published by the committee states that Javeed was summoned by NIA for questioning at the New Delhi headquarters. The report further goes to say that the interrogation took place for three consecutive days, from July 14 through July 16.

According to Sajjad Haider, Javeed’s editor at the Kashmir Observer, Javeed’s lawyer was barred from taking part in the questioning session. Javeed told CPJ that he was questioned about an interview he had done as a freelancer for the Sunday magazine insert in Greater Kashmir with a separatist leader.

He added that the agency had also asked him questions related to his family background, his education, his source of income, and his interview with separatist leader Aasiya Andrabi. Earlier, Andrabi was filed with charges and is currently in the custody of the agency.

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