New Delhi: Journalists from around the world have demanded the Indian government to immediately release Fahad Shah, editor of The Kashmir Walla, who has been in prison for a year now and booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
A joint statement in this regard was issued by Mark Sappenfield, editor, The Christian Science Monitor; Ravi Agrawal, editor-in-chief, Foreign Policy; Erica Berenstein, executive producer of News and Documentary, Insider; Dave Besseling, long reads editor, South China Morning Post; D. D. Guttenplan, editor, The Nation; Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, editor, Foreign Affairs; Boyoung Lim, senior editor, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief, The Guardian.
Calling Shah an “internationally respected reporter”, the joint statement said The Kashmir Walla, which Shah founded, “elevates the voices of everyday people and stands fast against unjust laws with honest reporting. But Shah has paid a heavy price for that work”.
He has been granted bail repeatedly, only to be immediately rearrested. He was last arrested on February 4, 2022, for “glorifying terrorism, spreading fake news, and inciting general public against law and order”, according to investigation authorities. Booked under UAPA, Shah would face life imprisonment if convicted.
“Shah’s case is a sharp reminder of the need to strengthen free voices as efforts to shut them down intensify daily around the globe. His release is particularly important to the cause of free press in Kashmir,” the joint statement said.