NEWS BEHIND THE BARBED WIRE : Kashmir’s Information Blockade

September 04, 2019

– A two-member team from the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) and the Free Speech Collective (FSC) visited Kashmir to determine the impact of the crackdown on communication on the media in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on 5 August 2019.- The team spent five days in the Valley between 30 August and 3 September 2019 and met more than 70 journalists and editors; members of the local administration and citizens in Srinagar and South Kashmir.- All names have been withheld on the express wishes of the interviewees and in the interests of their safety._____________________________________________________Click here to read the full report:


Text and photographs:
Geeta Seshu and Laxmi Murthy
(Members of NWMI, India and co-editors of FSC)

Music Credit:
Royalty Free Music from Bensound



Line of No Control : Press Freedom in Kashmir

May 2, 2019
The media community in the Kashmir Valley has witnessed a year of intense turmoil. Barely a month after World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2018, senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was gunned down in the heart of capital Srinagar. Illegal detention, incarceration under a draconian anti-terror law, physical assault, lethal pellet guns and tear gas were in store for Kashmiri journalists. Newspapers experienced an economic stranglehold when government advertising was withheld, while journalists faced innumerable barriers to reporting: internet shutdowns and slowdowns, denial of access to public events and scenes of incidents, as well an overall increase in surveillance and control. Yet, they have battled on, upholding press freedom against severe odds.

“We are not losing hope, we are fighting…”

Ranjita Elangbam, wife of journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem who has been detained by the Government of Manipur under the draconian National Security Act (NSA) speaks about the trauma the family is undergoing.

For more information on his case, read: The illegal detention of a journalist and its ramifications


“Time and again, NSA is used to silence the voice of dissent”

Shreeji Bhavsar, Advocate, who is representing journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem in the High Court of Manipur, talks about why the National Security Act must be repealed. Journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem was arrested in Manipur on Nov 27, 2019 for using “abusive language” against the Chief Minister of Manipur in four videos posted on Facebook. He has been detained for one year.

For more information on his case, read: The illegal detention of a journalist and its ramifications


“…those who are fighting for our rights are being locked up in jails.”

Actor Naseeruddin Shah has criticised the government’s crackdown on human rights activists last year.

(Video courtesy human rights organisation Amnesty India)

Shah said “From the beginning, the Constitution’s core values aimed at ensuring social, economic and political justice for all Indian citizens. It provided for everyone to have liberty of thought, expression, faith and worship and for everyone to be treated equally.”

“Those who fight for justice, human rights and raise their voices against corruption are in fact protecting our Constitutional rights. But now, those who are fighting for our rights are being locked up in jails. Artists, actors, scholars and poets, all are being stifled. Journalists, too, are being silenced.”