The cybercrime police in Srinagar detained Qazi Shibli, journalist and editor of the Kashmiriyat, on July 31. Since then, Shibli has remained in police custody.
Shibli reportedly received a phone call asking him to present himself at the cyber police station on Friday, July 31. His family waited outside for over eight hours before being told that Shibli had been detained, Free Press Kashmir reports.
A police official at the police station told the Kashmir Walla: "We were told by seniors to keep him in custody and don’t know the reasons."
Shibli had previously been detained for nine months in prison under the Public Safety Act. He was held without trial after he tweeted an official order regarding the deployment of additional paramilitary troops across the region. According to Free Press Kashmir, the charges were revoked this April when jails were decongested due to the pandemic.
The Kashmiriyat released a statement on July 31 on Shibli's detention, condemning "these constant attacks on the fourth pillar of democracy and those who are trying to preserve the essence of it".
The statement added: "Qazi Shibli, our editor had recently got threat calls from some unknown numbers regarding one of the stories, published on The Kashmiriyat. He reported the incident to the Local Police officials...The Kashmiriyat team awaits our editor’s safe and secure return."
The Committee to Protect Journalists also condemned Shibli's detention, calling for the police to "immediately release" him. Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, in Washington, DC, said: “Indian authorities must end their harassment of journalists and allow them to do their jobs without interference.”
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