Journalists harassed in PoK  says OHCHR report , let world ponder over it

J K News Today Commentary

Pakistan occupied Kashmir is shown as a green pasture for the people for it is “ Azad Kashmir . It is given that there is all sorts of “ Azadi” or freedom in  “ Azad Kashmir”, that in reality is illegally occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir that legally and constitutionally belongs to India. The Maharaja Hari Singh had acceded the whole of the state to India  but some parts were forcibly occupied by Pakistan by employing its regular army personnel and also tribesmen . How much freedom is there ?

 

The following excerpts are from the  updated version of the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights . The report has been hailed and acclaimed by Pakistan .

 

Not a word has been added or subtracted from the report on how media is treated in Pakistan occupied Kashmir , and let it be told at the risk of repeating that it is the same report that Pakistan has welcomed as an authentic document when it talks of the alleged human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir

 

The report reads

Journalists in Pakistan-Administered Kashmir continue to face threats and harassment in the course of carrying out their professional duties. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an anti-terrorism court in Gilgit-Baltistan sentenced journalist Shabbir Siham in absentia to 22 years in prison and fined him 500,000 Pakistani Rupees (USD 4,300) on charges of defamation, criminal intimidation, committing acts of terrorism, and absconding from court proceedings. On 21 November 2018, Gilgit-Baltistan authorities arrested journalist Muhammad Qasim Qasimi after he engaged in a verbal argument with a local police official. According to the International Crisis Group (ICG), Pakistani intelligence officials have also warned journalists in Gilgit-Baltistan against criticising the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

According to journalists working in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, media houses continue to practice self-censorship as a means of avoiding harassment from security agencies and not losing government advertisements, which are the main source of revenue. 304 Journalists claim local administrators use the advertisement revenue as a “carrot and stick” policy with media owners in order to get favourable news published, reduce coverage of their political opponents and censor any criticism of Pakistan by political groups or civil society members.305

Journalists in Pakistan-Administered Kashmir continue to face threats and harassment in the course of carrying out their professional duties. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an anti-terrorism court in Gilgit-Baltistan sentenced journalist Shabbir Siham in absentia to 22 years in prison and fined him 500,000 Pakistani Rupees (USD 4,300) on charges of defamation, criminal intimidation, committing acts of terrorism, and absconding from court proceedings. Shabbir Siham was accused of “fabrication and extorting a regional minister in violation of Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act, after he wrote an article for the Daily Times newspaper accusing legislators from Gilgit-Baltistan of involvement in human trafficking and prostitution.” Shabbir Siham told CPJ that he did not appear before the court due to security concerns.

On 21 November 2018, Gilgit-Baltistan authorities arrested journalist Muhammad Qasim Qasimi after he engaged in a verbal argument with a local police official. The newspaper that he worked for reported that he may have been arrested to prevent the publication of his story on a corruption scandal in the local government. According to CPJ, Qasimi has been charged with “criminal intimidation, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, defamation, threat of injury to public servant, and obstructing a public servant in discharge of public functions.

According to the International Crisis Group (ICG), Pakistani intelligence officials have also warned journalists in Gilgit-Baltistan against criticising the China-PakistanEconomic Corridor projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

code