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RSF calls for immediate release of journalist Aasif Sultan

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Srinagar, Sep 06: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called for "immediate and unconditional" release of Kashmiri journalist Aasif Sultan, who has been held by the police in Srinagar "in violation of all criminal procedure rules for the past ten days"

“Detaining a journalist without any serious evidence to support the charges against him is unacceptable,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, in a statement.

“We call on the Jammu and Kashmir authorities to order Aasif Sultan’s immediate release, to drop all charges and to take measures against the Srinagar police officers responsible for his arbitrary detention. Allowing journalists to express different viewpoints will help to defuse tension in the Kashmir Valley,” Daniel added.

The RSF statement said Sultan, 31, was arrested on the night of 27 August when around 50 policemen descended on his home in Srinagar, searched it and then took him away to a police station.

“His editor said he has been subjected to a great deal of violence, including being hit in the face, in an attempt to get him to explain his political ideology,” it said.

It said the incident happened exactly a year and a day ago today, on 05 September 2017, that Kamran Yousuf, a Kashmiri photojournalist recognized as such by his colleagues, was arrested and handed over to the National Investigation Agency, India’s counter-terrorism agency.

“He was freed on bail after six months but is still facing prosecution,” it added.

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