French journalist released on bail

French journalist released on bail

Srinagar: A French journalist arrested by police on charges of visa violation on Saturday was released on bail Tuesday.
Earlier on Monday, the award winning journalist, Paul Comiti, had been remanded to police custody up to December 16 by a Srinagar court.
Officials said Comiti was carrying out journalisitic activities in Kashmir while staying on a business visa.
Following his arrest, head of French Embassy’s Counsellor section flew to Srinagar and met police.
Sources said that Comiti was released from police custody, but his belongings were still with the police.
They said Comiti was now with the French embassy Counsellor section head Philippe Ducornet in Srinagar.
Police Station Kotihibagh has registered an FIR vide number 87/2017 under section 14 (B) of Passport Act against Comiti.
According to sources, police had intimated French embassy in advance about Comiti’s activities in Kashmir, as he was under scanner since he arrived in Valley.
They said that he was covering pro-freedom protests, meeting resistance leaders and had also filmed people injured by pellet guns.
“He is a journalist and was doing his professional duty but was here on business visa which is a clear violation of law of land,” a police official said.
Another official said that Comiti had met Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and filmed protesters throwing stones at government forces.
Comiti is a former staffer of TV Channel TF 1 and has won an award in 2009 in Bayeux for his reporting on French soldiers being ambushed in Afghanistan.