August 9, 2022

Press Freedom

India

OPC Calls for Release of Fahad Shah

The Overseas Press Club of America stands with other organizations in calling for the immediate release of journalist Fahad Shah, who according to news reports was arrested in the southern Kashmiri city of Pulwama last week. Shah is editor of the news portal The Kashmir Walla.

Shah, according to news reports and the Committee to Protect Journalists, which is also calling for his unconditional release, is being investigated for alleged sedition and making statements causing public mischief, which are crimes under Indian law. He is also charged with unlawful activities under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Protection Act.

Shah has said that police had earlier questioned him about the newspaper’s coverage of a gun fight between government forces and militants last month. The article was published on The Kashmir Walla’s website and its Facebook page. Shah also has been pushing for the release of Sajad Gul, a contributor to The Kashmir Walla, who was arrested on January 5, according to the CPJ.

The OPC strongly condemns the arrest of Shah, who was doing his job as a journalist, and calls for his immediate release and on the authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir to stop detaining and harassing members of the press in this region.