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Kashmir separatists urged to condemn attacks on media

The CPJ recently called upon the organizational body of the Kashmir separation movement, the All-Party Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference (APHC), to condemn attacks on the press by militant groups, and to expel member parties whose militant allies continue to threaten journalists and news organizations. Following the APHC condemnation of the murder of Norwegian tourist Hans Christian Ostro by the militant group Al Faran, the CPJ called for APHC to issue a statement condemning the frequent attacks on journalists and news organizations in the Kashmir Valley by other militant groups.

Since the armed uprising began in Kashmir in 1989, militant groups have claimed responsibility for the killing of a news reader for the state-run Radio Kashmir, and have been implicated in the slayings of a prominent Kashmiri newspaper editor and of the director of Srinagar's television station. They have periodically fired rockets at Srinagar's broadcast media facilities and have pressured most local radio and television reporters into leaving the profession. In addition, they have repeatedly forced the temporary closure of local newspapers for refusing to carry their press statements or printing offending statements by rival militias.

Many of the militant groups that have perpetrated these abuses are aligned with political parties represented in the APHC. While senior APHC leaders, on a number of occasions, have quietly negotiated an end to conflicts between militant groups and the local print media, the APHC has never issued a statement categorically denouncing attacks on the press.

Date posted: August 17, 1995Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 1012