IFJ-SAMSN Kashmir Campaign 2020

SAMSN – IFJ Campaign: POSTCARDS FROM KASHMIR: Inside the world’s longest communications shutdown #JournalismMatters #KeepItOn

Why we are campaigning for Kashmir’s media:

When the Indian government imposed the internet shutdown in Kashmir on August 5, 2019 revoking Article 370 of the Constitution of India, journalists in Kashmir struggled with their work and lives. The problems they faced were numerous; ranging from not being able to gather information or to write, publish, print or broadcast news, ultimately leading to job losses and salary cuts, in addition to harassment, controls on movement and the necessity to file stories from a designated media centre.

In January, India’s Supreme Court ordered the government to review all restrictions in Indian-administered Kashmir within a week, saying the indefinite suspension of people’s rights amounted to an abuse of power. While some communications have been gradually restored, the block on high speed mobile 4G internet in Kashmir still remains in place. On April 3, this ban was again extended to April 15. This continues to deny more than seven million people living in Kashmir to access reliable health information about COVID-19 in a situation where every day counts.

April 5 marks 245 days – eight months – since the initial shutdown began in Kashmir. Even before some communications were restored, the blackout was already the world’s longest communication shutdown in a democracy. India continues to lead the world in the number of shutdowns enforced on its people.

The IFJ-SAMSN campaign “POSTCARDS FROM KASHMIR” will draw the world’s attention to the personal stories of journalists impacted by shutdowns and raise awareness on internet controls as an abuse of human rights. It also underscores the critical need for high-speed communications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to go to the campaign page.