Fahad Shah is a former Pulitzer Center grantee. Image courtesy of Shah.
Fahad Shah, a respected Kashmiri journalist, has been held for a full year under India’s anti-terror law. He must be released.
Editor's note: This statement was originally published on February 15, 2023, by the Christian Science Monitor.
A full year has passed since Fahad Shah, editor of The Kashmir Walla newspaper and an internationally respected reporter, was arrested on Feb. 4, 2022, in Kashmir for publishing “anti-national content.”
The Kashmir Walla, which Mr. Shah founded, elevates the voices of everyday people and stands fast against unjust laws with honest reporting. But Mr. Shah has paid a heavy price for that work. He has been granted bail repeatedly, only to be immediately rearrested. He continues to be held in a jail in Jammu, far from family and friends, under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. He is facing life imprisonment if convicted.
Mr. Shah’s case is a sharp reminder of the need to strengthen free voices as efforts to shut them down intensify daily around the globe. His release is particularly important to the cause of free press in Kashmir.
We, the undersigned, call on authorities to release Mr. Shah immediately and to respect his standing as an independent journalist.
The Christian Science Monitor
Executive Producer of News and Documentary
South China Morning Post
D. D. Guttenplan
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting