Srinagar: The Amnesty International (AI) India on Wednesday asked the National Investigating Agency (NIA) to come clear on the charges levelled against photojournalist Kamran Yousuf who was arrested last week.
Shailesh Rai, Senior Policy Advisor at AI India, said, “The reason for (Kamran’s) arrest does not seem to be public. NIA needs to reveal under what offence he has particularly been booked under.”
“The only thing we seem to be hearing about his arrest seems to have been coming from unnamed sources quoted in newspapers,” Rai told Kashmir Reader on the sidelines of a function to release AI’s report on pellet victims in Kashmir. “Some of the things that have come to fore is that Kamran has been arrested only for his (Facebook) posts and photographs,” Rai said.
“If that that was the case for his arrest, then the charges under which he has been booked should be dropped and he should be released immediately,” Rai said.
Kamran was arrested by the NIA and flown to Delhi where he is in NIA custody. He contributed photos/videos for Greater Kashmir newspaper from south Kashmir districts.
Kamran has been accused of stone-pelting. Rai said that the AI has not yet approached the government as they are seeking more information about Kamran.
“I think we are trying to get information about what the actual reason(s) and under what sections he has been booked, and then we will make an assessment,” Rai said. “We are going to approach the government after getting information.”
Meanwhile, the AI team, which is in Srinagar, revealed that several Kashmir-based journalists were hit by pellets during the 2016 public uprising.
“However, we have not been able to establish contact with the victim journalists,” said an AI member. “One Javid Ahmad was hit by pellets (in eyes) in Handwara; Tariq Ahmad of Kulgam, too, is a pellet victim, while photojournalist Zuhaib was hit by pellets in his eyes in Srinagar.”