SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir
The International Federation of Journalists and the South Asia Media Solidarity Network launched a four-day-long social media campaign on Saturday to highlight Kashmir’s ongoing internet controls amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IFJ-SAMSN campaign “Postcards from Kashmir: Inside the world’s longest internet shutdown” will draw the world’s attention to the personal stories of journalists affected by shutdowns and will raise awareness on internet controls as an abuse of human rights, while underscoring the critical need of high-speed internet during the current pandemic crisis in the region.
From April 4 to 7, the campaign will shine a light on the world’s longest and most severe communications shutdown on media and citizens in the Kashmir region, which will complete 245 days, eight months Sunday, since the Indian Government imposed complete lockdown in the region.
Majid Maqbool, a senior journalist in the region, told Anadolu Agency that since Aug. 5, when the government stripped the Kashmir region from its special status, journalists suffered heavily. From job losses to salary, the journalists in the region went through it all.
“It was a frustrating period and still counting in this pandemic crisis, there is still an information clutter and journalists are not able to work through this,” said Maqbool.
Although Amnesty International India, urged the Indian government March 31 to restore high-speed internet immediately, the government in the region, on Friday, extended limited internet connectivity till April 15, citing backlash on new domicile law which identifies anyone in the region living for 15 years as ‘domicile.
Meantime in the region, Kashmir Press club in a statement flayed a gag order issued by the government recently warning doctors and paramedics in the region for severe consequences if they share COVID-19 information and allied healthcare situation with the media.
The Kashmir Press Club mentioned that it was another attempt by the government to throttle information on the deadly Pandemic when the information related to it is badly needed during present times.
As of now, the region has 92 coronavirus cases with two deaths and three recoveries.
More than 20,000 patients are under observation and 1,200 tests have been conducted for the virus.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.