Srinagar: Qazi Shibli, editor of The Kashmiriyat has been shifted to the Central Jail Srinagar, days after he was detained after he presented himself in front of the the Cyber Police in Kashmir, post a summon.
Sources told Free Press Kashmir that the authorities have invoked Section 107 against him, but no official confirmation regarding the same could be made. The law allows the authorities to preemptively detain a person based on suspicion.
Before he was detained on July 31, Shibli had told Free Press Kashmir that he had received a call from the Police at around 2:15 pm on Thursday, asking him to present himself in the Cyber Police Station in Srinagar on Friday.
No reasons were given to him. However, after questioning, he was taken into custody.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has demanded that the Jammu and Kashmir police “must immediately release Qazi Shibli”.
The Internation Federation for Journalists has said: “IFJ condemn the series of attacks and ongoing harassment of journalists in India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. IFJ calls for the immediate release of Qazi Shibli and demand that authorities stop persecuting journalists for doing their jobs.”
After his detention, massive support has poured in online from Press Freedom organisations, journalists’ bodies, and individuals.
Today as a member of the All Party Kashmir Group – @Europarl_EN, I call for the immediate release of Kashmiri journalist Qazi Shibli. Any attempt to curtail freedom of speech is doomed to fail.
We stand by you and your family at this difficult time#ReleaseQaziShili pic.twitter.com/9vkZkUNmo2
— Carles Puigdemont (@KRLS) August 3, 2020
The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has also released a statement demanding the release of the editor.
Family members of Shibli have said that they have been able to see him, and he has undergone rigorous interrogation.
He was released recently after nine months of detention after he reported about the deployment of Armed Forces across Jammu Kashmir ahead of abrogation of Article 370 and 35A in August last year.
He was earlier detained in a prison in Uttar Pradesh’s, Bareilly under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
The Kashmiriyat has recently relaunched its operations and has been receiving massive support from readers worldwide.
“We are one of the fastest news organizations in Kashmir and have maintained the spirit of Free Press guaranteed by the constitutional provisions. Qazi Shibli, our editor had recently got threat calls from some unknown numbers regarding one of the stories, published on The Kashmiriyat. He reported the incident to the Local Police officials,” the news website wrote.
“We at The Kashmiriyat condemn these constant attacks on the fourth pillar of democracy and those who are trying to preserve the essence of it. The Kashmiriyat team awaits our editor’s safe and secure return,” it said.
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