HRCP stressed for highlighting human rights violations in IIOJK

CPJ pushes India stop to coercion against minorities

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Islamabad, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Tuesday stressed the need for effectively raising freedom struggle of the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) at all global fora and highlighting widespread human rights violations by Indian forces there.

 

HRCP office bearers including its Secretary General Haris Khalique while giving their reaction on unprecedented human rights violations in (IIOJK) by Indian forces said that oppressed Kashmiris were not only being deniedtheir inalienable right to self-determination for over seven decades but also facing gruesome atrocities.

 

They said that since 5 August 2019, Kashmiris were enduring the worst form of human rights violations andtheir suffering had increased manifolds in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

 

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based watchdog body, has called on India to immediately release journalist Mandeep Punia and refrain from detaining and investigating members of the press covering the ongoing farmers’ protests in and around New Delhi.

 

“We are extremely alarmed by the authorities’ treatment of journalists and news organizations reporting on the farmers’ protests in India, which is an issue of national importance,” Aliya Iftikhar, CPJ’s senior Asia researcher, said in a statement.

 

“Indian authorities must immediately release journalist Mandeep Punia and drop all investigations into journalists and news outlets who have been diligently covering the protests,” she added.

 

According to media reports, Delhi police on Saturday detained Mandeep Punia, a contributor to The Caravan magazine and Junputh news website, and Dharmendra Singh, a reporter with the YouTube news channel “Online News India,” while they covered protests held by farmers against new laws that the protestors say would deprive them of livelihood.

 

Indian authorities released Singh without charge on Sunday, but Punia remains in custody, CPJ said.

 

Since January 28, police have also opened at least eight investigations into journalists and media outlets that have covered the protests, it said.

 

Separately, police in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Delhi have opened investigations into at least eight journalists over their coverage of allegations that Delhi police killed a protesting farmer January 26, which police deny, according to news reports.

 

Six of those journalists were named in identical complaints accusing them of several violations of the Indian Penal Code, including sedition and promoting enmity between groups, according to those reports.

 

Those journalists include Rajdeep Sardesai of the India Today news channel, Mrinal Pande of English-language daily National Herald, Zafar Agha of Urdu-language newspaper Qaumi Qwaz, and Paresh Nath, Anant Nath, and Vinod K. Jose of The Caravan, according to multiple news reports.

 

The complaints cite tweets by Sardesai, Pande, Agha, and The Caravan about the killing.

 

If charged and convicted of sedition, the six could face up to life imprisonment under Indian law.

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