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Five years of release, Kashmiri journalist in jail again

Five years of release, Kashmiri journalist in jail again

Kashmiri journalist Asif Sultan (36), who has been imprisoned for more than five years, has been arrested again two days after his release. The journalist was arrested by the police in another case under India’s stringent ‘anti-terrorism’ law.

Journalist Asif Sultan’s lawyer Adil Abdullah Pandit told Qatar-based media Al Jazeera this information.

Adil Abdullah Pandit said, ‘Asif Sultan was produced in a court in Srinagar city on Friday (February 1) and sent to a five-day police remand.’

Adil further said, ‘Sultan was arrested on Thursday (February 29) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in a 2019 case related to violence inside the Srinagar Central Jail. The law has been described by international rights groups as a “draconian” law.

Srinagar is the largest city and summer capital of Indian-administered Kashmir.

Rights activists say getting bail under the UAPA case is almost impossible, meaning Sultan could remain in jail indefinitely without trial.

Incidentally, in July 2018, Asif Sultan wrote a report about the slain militant Burhan Wani in a monthly newspaper called ‘Kashmir Narrator’. Members of an organization named Hizbul Mujahideen also spoke there. The police pressured Asif to reveal the ‘source’ of the report. He was later arrested under the UAPA and the Ranbir Penal Code then in force in Kashmir. But the Srinagar court granted bail to Asif in April 2022 as there was no evidence of his association with militants. But Asif was arrested again and taken to Agra Jail.

On December 11, 2023, Asif Sultan was granted bail by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. But it took a long time to get the clearance letter from the Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar and the Home Department, finally this journalist was released on February 27.