Hyderabad: Indian Journalists Union (IJU), representing organisation of working journalists in the country on Tuesday demanded that the French journalist Paul Comiti should be immediately released on bail and allowed to return to his country as it involved freedom of press and expression recognised as a universal human right.
In a joint statement, IJU President S N Sinha, Secretary General Amar Devulapalli and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Vice President Sabina Inderjit, said the Union viewed with concern the arrest and Judicial remand of French Freeland Journalist Paul Comiti in Srinagar.
The French journalist was arrested by J&K police on Sunday from Pratap Park in Srinagar and remanded to judicial custody on Monday for filming a documentary on political situation in Kashmir valley and interviewing a few Hurriyat Conference leaders. He allegedly violated Visa rules.
They said, “it is a common practice among journalists all over the world to take tourist or business visas to visit and report from conflict zones as it is impossible to obtain a journalist visa in such situations.”
“If the authorities on Kashmir think if it is inimical to the interests of the country, they could have deported him from the country instead of sending him to judicial custody which entails long process for the journalist to get bail and go back to his country,” the statement added.
They called on the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed to immediately intervene and take steps to free the French Journalist on bail.