PEN Delhi condemns the Indian government’s communication blockade in Jammu and Kashmir which is preventing journalists from doing their duty. It demands that the Indian government institute an enabling environment for a free press in all parts of Jammu and Kashmir by relaxing curbs on the movement of print, photo and video journalists and by taking strict measures to prevent violence against journalists as well as the confiscation of equipment used by them. We note with concern the reports that journalists in Kashmir have been “thrashed” by the police. We urge the government to act with all speed to restore internet and telecommunication services in Kashmir so that information is freely available and the prevailing fear and anxiety are allayed. People have a right to know how decisions that affect their future and the future of the country are playing out, just as journalists in Jammu and Kashmir have the right to fulfil the duty of a free press, guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution of India.

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