18 September, 2020

Words Will Live, Censorship Won’t: Gowhar Geelani

Kashmir-based journalist Gowhar Geelani who has been slapped with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act by the J&K Police, tells Outlook that such moves may 'either silence us or make more people speak out'.

Words Will Live, Censorship Won’t: Gowhar Geelani
outlookindia.com
2020-05-02T16:01:28+05:30

The J&K Police has slapped the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on Kashmir-based journalists Masrat Zahra and Gowhar Geelani,  triggering condemnation from media and human rights bodies across the world. Another journalist, Peerzada Ashiq, who works with The Hindu, was summoned by police and questioned over a story. Geelani tells Naseer Ganai that such moves may “either silence us or make more people speak out”. Excerpts from the interview:

How you see the use of UAPA against you and other journalists?

These FIRs are not meant to attack individuals, but to silence Kashmiri voices, to stifle free speech and the institution of journalism here. The process itself is the punishment. It is harassment, intimidation and an attack on our dignity. The aim is to legitimise only one narrative that suits the present dispensation. Such steps may either create fear in everyone who has an opinion or encourage more people to speak out as it is now about everyone. When you are being watched, you remain more focused on your safety...

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