New York, February 18, 2018 (PPI-OT): New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has asked the New Delhi’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) to immediately drop charges against Kashmiri photojournalist, Kamran Yusuf and release him. Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator in a statement said, “India’s National Investigative Agency is way out of its league and has no business defining what ‘a real journalist’ should cover.”
“Kamran Yousuf’s work taking photographs of conflict in Jammu and Kashmir is a public service in the best spirit of journalism. He should be freed immediately.” Kamran was arrested by the NIA on 7 September, last year, on charges of stone throwing. “Kamran Yousuf’s work taking photographs of conflict in Jammu and Kashmir is a public service in the best spirit of journalism. He should be freed immediately,” he added. The CPJ is a global non-profit organisation working towards press freedom worldwide.
In its observations filed by the NIA in court, the agency had said that Kamran was not a real journalist as he not covered government developmental activities, statement of a political party, which, according to the NIA is the moral duty of a journalist.
Yousuf is a freelance photojournalist from Jammu and Kashmir, who has been imprisoned since September 5, 2017. He was formally charged on January 18 with sedition, criminal conspiracy, and attempting to wage war against India. His next hearing is expected on February 19, according to The Indian Express.
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