One way to distinguish between propagandists & authentic journalists is that the former operate embedded with armies under the aegis of repressive regimes & the latter are subject to harassment, assaults, arrest & incarceration, & often assassination. It’s become one of the most dangerous professions in the world. We know that most recently from the number disappeared or murdered in Syria while propagandists tour with the Syrian army; the Rohingya citizen journalist network disappeared during the genocide in 2017; the incarceration of Burmese reporters Wa Lone & Kyaw Soe Oo for investigating the Rohingya genocide; the harassment of a Kashmiri journalist & his family for covering protests & the arrest & several month incarceration of a Kashmiri photojournalist. But there are many other current examples.
This is a report about our friend Kashmiri photojournalist Aasif Shafi who was assaulted by Indian occupying forces in October 2017 when he was covering an event & lodged a formal legal complaint holding them accountable. Our fullest solidarity with his legal action. Legal action is imperative; political action in defense of Kashmiri journalists will strengthen that legal initiative.