No freedom in IOK on Press Freedom Day.

KARACHI -- As the countries around the globe mark World Press Freedom Day, independent media in Indian Occupied Kashmir continues to be brutally muzzled By: New Delhi. Through violence and intimidation, Narendra Modi's government has unleashed renewed wave of authoritarianism in the disputed valley.

With the people of IOK still languishing in what is no less than an open air prison, the Indian government has ramped up brutalities against journalists in a bid to prevent the world from knowing how Kashmiris in the valley suffer.

According to sources in IOK, local media persons have been forced into struggle for survival due to the strict clampdown India has put in place. Many erstwhile journalists have been reduced to seeking daily wage work to eke out a living.

Those that somehow carry on in their profession are forced to work under heavy restrictions and the threat of harassment, detainment and even death. A number of them have been put under house arrest. IOK newspapers, meanwhile, have stopped printing editorials. Some are even being printed as pamphlets. All of this comes in addition to the region wide communications blackout that includes the suspension of high-speed internet services.

A number of prominent IOK journalists have faced arrests, violence and other forms of harassment for reporting on Indian brutalities. This year alone has seen several such incidents. Just last month, for instance, journalist and author Gowhar Geelani was booked for 'indulging in unlawful activities prejudicial to the national integrity, sovereignty and security of India' for social media posts critical of New Delhi's policies.

That same month, at least three other journalists faced similar treatment. Masrat Zahra, a Srinagar-based photojournalist, was booked for uploading 'anti-national posts with criminal intentions to incite the youth.' Kashmir Observer's Mushtaq Ahmed, meanwhile, was detained for two days after being brutalised By: a police officer in Bandipora.

Journalist Ashiq Peerzada was first summoned By: police in Srinagar and then immediately directed to travel some 40 kilometres to Anantnag for further questioning By: a police officer. After all this, an FIR was still registered against him. Earlier, in February, journalist Naseer Ghani was summoned By: police for reporting on a statement issued By: the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front. That month, Haroon Nabi was also detained for four hours for similarly reporting a statement issued By...

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