Kashmiri journalist Aasif Sultan completes five years in jail

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Srinagar: Illegally detained Kashmiri journalist Aasif Sultan on Sunday completed five years in jail.

He is currently lodged in Agra Central Jail in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh after being booked under draconian law, Public Safety Act (PSA).

Aasif Sultan, who has been incarcerated since August 2018, was granted bail by a court in Srinagar on April 05, 2022. However, he was immediately taken in for questioning by the CIK (counter-insurgency Kashmir – a unit of Indian police), after which he was again detained under the PSA. He was shifted to the Kot Bhalwal jail of Jammu, but he was later moved to Agra Central Jail in Uttar Pradesh. Before that, he remained lodged at Central Jail, Srinagar.

One of his family members confirmed to the media that Asif had been booked under the draconian PSA and shifted to the Kot Bhalwal jail of Jammu, but he was later shifted to Agra Central Jail in Uttar Pradesh.

Several international organizations including the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have demanded the immediate release of Aasif Sultan who worked as an editor with Kashmir-based news magazine- Kashmir Narrator.

Sultan was detained during a nocturnal raid from his home in the Batamaloo area of Srinagar on charges of ‘harboring militants’ and subsequently booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

In February 2021, the Clooney Foundation for Justice said that they will monitor Aasif’s case closely through its Trial Watch program. In a statement, which came a day after a court hearing in Srinagar, regarding Sultan’s bail application, it said, “The Clooney Foundation for Justice calls on the authorities to ensure that Sultan’s bail hearing is conducted by international human rights law and any proceedings against him respect his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and freedom of expression.”

Pertinently Sajad Gul, a freelance journalist from Bandipora in north Kashmir who is currently detained under the PSA has also been lodged in Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal jail. Kashmiri journalist, Fahad Shah is also incarcerated after being arrested on February 04. Fahad, now booked under PSA is lodged at the same jail.

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Disclaimer: Kashmiri journalist Aasif Sultan completes five years in jail - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view

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