By Hanan Zaffar, MuslimMirror.com,
New Delhi: Extending support to photojournalist Kamran Yousuf, global journalists’ body ‘Committee to Protect Journalists’ has called on National Investigation Authority (NIA) to drop charges against him. Earlier, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) or Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) – an international non-profit journalists’ organization that claims to promote and defendfreedom of information and freedom of the press – had also called for his urgent release.
Kamran Yousuf is a freelance Kashmiri photojournalist who was arrested in September 2017 by NIA on charges of ‘stone pelting’ and ‘conspiring to wage war against Government of India’.
Later, in a largely ridiculed charge-sheet,NIA had claimed that Yousuf is not a journalist because he had only covered‘’anti-national” activities and never performed his “moral duty” as a journalist to cover “developmental activity” or t “inauguration of any government building like school or hospital’’.
In an interview to Indian Express, Steven Butler,CPJ’s Asia program coordinatorsaid“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 of taking photographs of conflict in Jammu and Kashmir is a public service in the best spirit of journalism. He should be freed immediately.”
It is pertinent to mention that various leaders of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have also called for his speedy release.