Stopping journalists from covering R-day ‘unprecedented state-sponsored attack on press freedom, says Editors’ Guild of India

Srinagar: The Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Monday termed the barring of Kashmir journalists from R-Day venue in Srinagar as an “unprecedented state-sponsored attack on press freedom”, even as it demanded an inquiry into “how such lapses were allowed to take place.”

In a statement, EGI condemned “the arbitrary manner in which several senior journalists of Jammu and Kashmir were denied entry into the stadium in Srinagar to cover the Republic Day function being held there on January 26.”

“It is shocking that many of them were stopped from entering the stadium to perform their professional duty in spite of their possessing entry passes issued by the state government’s Information Department,” the statement said.

The EGI said it was equally deplorable of the state government’s earlier decision to deny entry passes for covering the Republic Day function to many other senior journalists.

The EGI also sought an assurance from the government that such reprehensible acts would not be repeated.

“If necessary, a fool-proof and non-discriminatory system of issuing entry passes to journalists to help them perform their professional duty in high-security areas must be introduced at the earliest,” the statement added.

On 26th January, Journalists in Kashmir were stopped by the armed forces to cover the Republic Day of India function at Sher-i-Kashmir stadium.

Senior photo Journalists who had gone to cover the event were not allowed by the security men on the pretext that police has got adverse verification report against them.

Kashmir Editors Guild, in a statement condemned the act and has demanded the details of the ‘adverse reports’.

“Today’s incident provides a grim reminder yet again about the fact that how vulnerable the media is in an area that is riddled with conflict and lawlessness”, said the statement.

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