Internet restoration vital to save lives of besieged Kashmiris: Masood

The Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan while expressing grave concern over continuous internet blockade in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the outbreak of corona virus pandemic had necessitated immediate restoration of communication means in the held territory so that the people can get timely information regarding preventive measures and advisories.
In various tweets on social media, he warned that if India continued communication and media blockade of occupied Kashmir even after the outbreak of corona virus and kept the people deprived of their right to know the dangers of corona, it would pose a grave dangers to the human lives across the world.
The AJK president strongly supported the demand of International Press Institute (IPI) to the Indian Government to cease henceforth the uncalled for curbs on media and harassment of journalists independently reporting events in occupied Kashmir, and urged the Indian government to let the journalists freely work in the territory.
The AJK president said that the actions of the Indian occupation troops in occupied Kashmir had seriously hurt the freedom of expression because these troops subject to revengeful actions against the journalists and newspapers reporting about illegal and illegitimate acts of the Indian government.
"Not only journalists but their close relatives are also harassed and intimidated to muzzle the press and the truth," he condemned.
Sardar Masood Khan said that in its recent report, the Vienna-based IPI has reported that besides harassments and threats to journalists, tricks like blockade of internet are used to disrupt the information system. Besides, the journalists are forced for self-censorship to suppress the voices rising against the government.
Citing the latest report of another international organization, the Committee to Protest Journalists (CPJ), the AJK president said that the military and the police in the occupied territory call the independent journalists to police stations and military centers, and interrogates them. "The CJP has demanded of the Indian government to immediately lift the restrictions imposed on journalists in occupied Kashmir, and let the journalists perform their professional responsibilities without any fear or favour," he added.
The AJK president appealed to the international community, United Nations and the World Health Organization to mount pressure on India, and play their role in restoring freedom of press and ending curbs on the journalists so as to ensure the access of people to the information particularly after the recent corona virus pandemic.
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