The International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) has expressed concern over arrest of French journalist Paul Comiti.
Comiti was arrested last Sunday by J&K police while shooting documentary on pellet victims. He was booked under Passport act by police. On Saturday, police arrested Comiti for ‘violating visa regulations’ by filming pellet victims in Kashmir. He was presented before the court. Comiti, 47, is on visit to Kashmir to research for his documentary on a business visa valid until December 2018, police said. He has been released on bail.
"The IFJ expresses serious concerns over the arrest and detention of French journalist Paul Comiti in Kashmirand demands his immediate release. In addition to the blockade of information for local journalists, it is almost impossible for the international media to report on Kashmir due non-issuance of journalist visas. The IFJ believes these restrictions are attempts to control access to information by denying journalists their legitimate rights. The IFJ also urges the Indian government to ensure that it respects international standards of dealing with journalists,” IFJ spokesperson said in a statement.
“Journalists in the region have been working under extreme stress, threats and intimidation from the various actors in the conflict. Reporting the situation on the ground and informing the public is challenging, as the government and security forces attempt to restrict mobility, block access to sources and arbitrarily shut down telephone services and the internet,” the statement added.