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KEG flays NIA’s ‘new definition’ of journalists, seeks Yousuf’s release

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Srinagar, Feb 20: Saying that “redefining journalism is an effort of dictatorial regimes”, Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) on Tuesday took strong note of the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA’s) grounds for arrest of Kashmiri photojournalist Kamran Yousuf in the charge-sheet against him, and demanded his early release.

“If the cops are supposed to define the roles and responsibilities of the journalists, which manage the fourth pillar of democracy, the universities that train thousands of journalists across India must be locked down,” the members said in a statement issued today.

“Re-defining journalism is usually been seen as an effort by totalitarian and dictatorial regimes and not democracies.”

Earlier, NIA in its charge-sheet against Yousuf had said that the “moral duty of a journalist is to cover government developmental activities and statements of political parties.”

KEG reiterated its stand on Kamran Yousuf case that he has been a news photographer who was freelancing with various media outlets.

The editors sought his early release and have “continuously insisted that Yousuf requires a fair trial.”

“It has been a long time since Yousuf’s arrest that the investigators have probed almost all angles of his supposed involvement. So far nothing has been proved as the charge-sheet suggests,” KEG said.

“It is high time that Yousuf is permitted to move out of jail and resume his routine and help his mother, the only relation he has, in surviving honourably,” the editors said. “His release will contribute to the strengthening of democracy and right to free speech.”

The bail hearing of Yousuf, who was detained last year, is scheduled for Wednesday.

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