Islamabad, (KMS): Jammu Kashmir National Front (JKNF) Vice Chairman, Altaf Hussain Wani, while taking a dig at Indian government’s crackdown on rights defenders, media outlets and journalists in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir has said that Modi-led fascist regime is hell bent on choking every dissenting voice in the region.
Altaf Hussain Wani in a statement issued in Islamabad, today, terming it as yet another attack on journalists and the freedom of press said that the crafty move on the part of NIA authorities was meant to silence rights activists and journalists who played crucial role in exposing Indian brutalities and bringing Kashmir into international limelight despite a suffocating military siege and communication blockade imposed by the government of India after 5th August 2019.
“Under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression,” he said, adding that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Citing the incidents wherein prominent journalists were thrashed, beaten up and tortured after being summoned at police stations and army camps, Altaf Wani said, “Jammu Kashmir National Front remains deeply concerned over the lack of freedom of the press and expression in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir where muzzling media and silencing well reputed journalists has become a new norm for the occupation authorities”. He pointed out that since August 2019 there has been an immense rise in the incidents of coercion, intimidation and harassment of journalists in IIOJK. He said that after wreaking havoc on the lives of people, the government of India was hell bent on silencing the media to ensure a graveyard silence in the territory.
Denouncing the recent raids on the residence of noted human rights defender, Khuram Parvez, journalists Gowhar Geelani, Parvaiz Bukhari and the offices of English daily Greater Kashmir, he said that these actions were in direct contravention of international standards of freedom of opinion, expression, and free press. He also deplored the sealing of offices of Kashmir Times and KNS by the Indian authorities.
Urging the international community in particular the United Nations Special procedures to take effective notice of the Indian atrocities, he said that it was high time that the world community should exert its influence on India to restore all fundamental freedoms including the peoples’ right to freedom of expression and opinion.