Journalists stage sit-in, seek release of Asif Sultan

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Several Kashmir based journalists today staged a sit-in at Press Enclave here to seek release of their colleague, Asif Sultan, who is presently under judicial custody.
The protest was held under the banner of Kashmir Journalist Association (KJA) to demand release of Sultan, an assistant editor at Kashmir Narrator magazine who was arrested two weeks ago ”.
The protesting journalist reiterated that Sultan’s arrest is aimed at “intimidating journalists in Kashmir who are already working under tremendous pressure.”
“Detention of a journalist on flimsy grounds and while not even making it clear that what is the fault of a journalist is completely unacceptable,” said a journalist.
A statement issued here apart from Kashmir Journalist Corp, Kashmir Working Journalists Association (KWJA), Kashmir Press Photographers Association (KPPA), Kashmir Video Journalist Association, who were part of the sit-in, demanded Sultan’s immediate release. 
The statement said KJA has also appealed Governor Satya Pal P Malik and DGP Dilbagh Singh to “intervene in the matter and order probe into the arrest of Sultan and set him free”.
“We demand the officers concerned be held responsible and action be taken against them for arresting a journalist,” KJA spokesperson said.
“KJA believes that media plays an important role to strength democratic and constitutional values. However, when the press freedom is choked and journalists are harassed, situation becomes dangerous to live. It may affect the basic freedom of speech,” he said. 
The journalist body also appealed international journalist body and human right forums to take up the issue strongly with the local authorities. KJA also appealed Press Council of India to push for the release of Sultan. 
“They have made a simple journalistic piece as basis for the case which is totally uncalled for and against the ethics,” said the statement.

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