Journalist Fahad Shah, the editor of The Kashmir Walla, has been released from custody a week after being granted bail by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Shah, who had been incarcerated for an astounding 21 months, faced charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and had been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
The High Court, in a ruling on Friday, granted bail to the journalist and quashed charges that included “abetting terrorism,” “waging war against the country,” and “promoting enmity” under the UAPA.
Shah’s arrest traces back to February 2022, following a report on The Kashmir Walla regarding an encounter in Pulwama. The police accused him of “uploading anti-national content, including photographs, videos, and posts with criminal intention to create fear among the public.”
The court said that pursuing such charges for an 11-year-old article “collides headlong with the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined in Article 19 of the Constitution”.