Kashmiri journalist was held for 41 months without trial

first_img India: RSF denounces “systemic repression” of Manipur’s media News to go further Organisation IndiaAsia – Pacific News RSF_en In rural India, journalists face choice between covering pandemic and survival RSF demands release of detained Indian journalist Siddique Kappan, hospitalised with Covid-19 News April 27, 2021 Find out morecenter_img Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders has interviewed Maqbool Sahil, a journalist based in Srinagar, the summer capital of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, who was detained for 41 months without trial. Now the incharge editor of the Urdu-language weekly Pukaar, Sahil has spent 19 years covering the conflict in Kashmir, in which thousands have died since 1989.Arrested in 2004 after covering the rape of an Australian tourist for Chattan, the newspaper he then worked for, he was beaten and tortured during two weeks of interrogation and accused of spying for a Pakistani network. He was nonetheless never tried although Indian law says every detainee must be indicted before a court within 60 days. He decided to resume working as journalist following his release on 9 January 2008.Sahil wrote seven books while in detention. His prison diary, “Shabistan-e-wajood,” was acclaimed by Reporters Without Borders last year.RWB: Why were you arrested?MS: I was detained solely because of my work as a journalist for the weekly Chattan, covering crime and doing investigative reporting. A few days before my arrest, I covered the story of an Australian woman visiting Kashmir who said she was raped by the owner of the houseboat she had been staying on. Almost all the newspapers covered the case but I dug up facts that contradicted the Australian woman’s account and I wrote about this for the weekly.On 16 September 2004, a few days after my story was published, I was arrested by plain-clothes policemen as I left an army barracks in Srinagar. They bundled me into an unmarked car and took me to the Hari Nivas interrogation centre. There I was told that I had been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department for being involved in some sort of Pakistani espionage network.RWB: What were the charges?MS: I was interrogated and tortured for more than two weeks. They told me charges would be brought against me under the draconian official secrets and espionage laws, charges which carry the death penalty and do not permit release on bail.RWB: Could you describe the conditions in which you were held for those 41 months?MS: I was put with criminals such as pickpockets, murderers and robbers and others. During interrogation, they used a wooden roller on my legs, they suspended me from the roof and caned my feet, they regularly beat me and they did many other vicious things to me. Then they increased the intensity of the torture because I was unable to provide them with the information they were seeking about my supposed involvement. I was so wrecked by the torture that I was unable to stand on my feet. Other detainees used to help me change my clothes and eat.Meanwhile, CID personnel raided my home three times, taking my computer, books, CDs and diaries, which still have not been returned to me.I was transferred to Srinagar central jail on 1 October 2004, but a month later I was taken back to the Hari Nivas interrogation centre for more interrogation and the next day I was transferred to Kote Bhalwal Jammu central jail under a two-year Public Safety Act detention order. The High Court quashed the PSA detention order after one year, so I was brought back to Srinagar for more interrogation at the Humhama interrogation centre, another PSA detention order was issued and I was taken back to the Kote Bhalwal jail. This process was repeated four times in 40 months, until January 2008.In the summer of 2007, I was moved to the Amphalla district jail, where I was kept in an individual, dark cell in the hot summer months of May, June, July and August without a fan or water. I was allowed out of the cell only once every 24 hours to use a latrine. The rest of the time, I had to use a tin can in my cell as a toilet.RWB: How did all this time in detention affect you?MS: During those 41 months, I was almost completely cut off from my family. I hardly had any chance to see my children. I saw my mother after two years at the Humhama Interrogation centre. She had grown older and her health had deteriorated. My brother repaired radio and TV sets at home to feed my eight-member family.RWB: And how did all this affect you as a journalist?MS: As a journalist, it was very difficult to spend so much time in such a strange and tough place as a jail. I decided to read and write. I also I started studying crime as prisons have all kinds of criminals. I spent my time with Kashmiri detainees, Muslims, Sikhs and Dogras. I was surprised that more than 80 per cent of the inmates insisted on their innocence. Follow the news on India IndiaAsia – Pacific June 10, 2021 Find out more April 29, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Kashmiri journalist was held for 41 months without trial News March 3, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Organizers gear up for rally

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventIn the Korean community, some employers have been bracing for the boycott, expecting many of their Latino workers to call in sick, said Danny Park, executive director of the Korean Immigrant Workers Alliance. Some small businesses plan to close for the day. Last week, the Korean Apparel Manufacturers Association sent out letters to its 1,000 members who employ an estimated 30,000 workers asking them not to retaliate against workers who don’t show up for work that day. “We don’t want a confrontation between employers and employees,” said Mike Lee, the association’s president. “We want to stand together.” Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, said she expects most of those participating to be students and longtime Latino activists. Readying for a massive national rally on May 1, organizers are calling on employers not to punish employees who skip work to protest, while state legislators are expected to vote this week on a resolution that would formally recognize a boycott. For weeks, organizers have been calling for a massive mobilization on May 1, International Workers Day, to show the force of the undocumented immigrant community across the U.S. – an estimated 5 percent of the U.S. work force. Though organizers have been split about whether the protest should include a work, school and economic boycott – they have been carefully working to broaden their coalition over the past two weeks. “This whole movement is snowballing not just in the size but also in the composition of the coalition. It’s diversifying, it’s not just Latinos,” said Nativo Lopez, the president of the Mexican American Political Association. In the coming days, he expects Filipino, Muslim and African immigrant organizations to announce they will join the boycott. “Day laborers and low-wage workers can’t give up their day of work. It’s not that they don’t support this, it’s economic.” [email protected] (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Indy is special to Stewart

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 It’s no secret Tony Stewart wants to win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — badly. NASCAR’s resident bad boy has said he would gladly trade his NASCAR Cup championship and Indy Racing League title for a win at Indy. On more than one occasion, he attempted the Memorial Day double, racing at the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, with the hope of winning just once at the Brickyard. The Indiana native places Indianapolis Motor Speedway above all else. He even made the move this year from NASCAR country in North Carolina back to his childhood home near Indianapolis, in part to be closer to the race track he holds in such high regard. As the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for its annual visit, Stewart, winner of three of the past five Cup races, is by far the driver with the most momentum. But none of his 22 career Cup wins would come close in comparison to just one at Indy. In a teleconference earlier this week, Stewart talked about his passion for racing at Indy, moving back to his hometown, away from the NASCAR mecca in Charlotte, N.C., and how the move has made him a more relaxed and focused driver. Stewart started his racing career on the open-wheel side, racing USAC sprint cars and midgets, and winning championships along the way. Growing up, he dreamed of racing Indy cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He actually did a few times in the fledgling IRL, winning the pole and leading 44 laps in his first Indy 500 in 1996. He led 64 laps the following year at Indy, but finished fifth, his best showing in five tries. After a successful Indy racing career, Stewart made the jump to NASCAR and landed with Joe Gibbs Racing in 1998. Five years after winning his only IRL championship, he won his first NASCAR title. In six NASCAR races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Stewart has two top-five and three top-10 finishes. The closest he has come to winning is a couple of fifth-place showings, the latest coming last year. When Stewart was working his way up the open-wheel ranks, Indianapolis Motor Speedway was being courted by NASCAR. The Brickyard 400 made its debut 12 years ago and changed Indianapolis Motor Speedway forever. A track once reserved for open-wheel speed machines welcomed stock cars, a travesty in the eyes of racing purists and several residents of Indiana who considered the Speedway sacred ground. Stewart counted himself among the critics. “I freaked out, too,” Stewart said. “I’ll be honest. I guess I was a traditionalist also and didn’t want change.” Over the years, Stewart learned to accept stock cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He even learned to appreciate having Formula One cars at the track. “I think that’s … hindsight, I think it’s been one of the most positive things for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to see how many fans come to the Brickyard just like having the fans come for the Indy 500,” Stewart said. “Instead of having it full one time a year, it’s full twice a year now.” No place gets Stewart excited like Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but keeping his emotions in check has been a challenge for Stewart throughout his career. It’s part of the reason he moved away from Charlotte and settled back in Indiana. “It wasn’t that I disliked the Charlotte area,” Stewart said. “There’s probably five times more things to do in Charlotte than where I live (now). But it’s just something about being in your hometown and there’s something about being around the same friends you ran around with when you raced go-karts, three-quarter midgets or sprint cars. It’s just a different atmosphere there.” So has being around his childhood friends and neighbors affected his temperament? “Why not? I mean, you get tired of being uptight about everything all the time,” Stewart said. “I could be right about a topic, but it’s just not even worth fighting sometimes. “Just being able to go home and see your friends and kind of get away from the stock car scene for a couple days is a nice break. It just helps you be a lot more mellower that way.” The change of scenery and being around old friends seem to be working for Stewart. This weekend, he will see if it makes a difference at the track he covets most. Tim Haddock covers motor sports for the Daily News. He can be reached at (818) 713-3715 or [email protected] NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES Allstate 400 Site: Indianapolis. Schedule: Saturday, qualifying (TNT, 8:10 a.m.); Sunday, race (NBC, 11:30 a.m.). Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (rectangular oval, 2.5 miles, 9 degrees banking in turns). Race distance: 400 miles, 160 laps. Next race: Sirius at The Glen, Aug. 14, Watkins Glen, N.Y. On the Net: www.nascar.com NASCAR BUSCH SERIES Kroger 200 Site: Indianapolis. Schedule: Saturday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 3:05 p.m.), race (TNT, 5:30 p.m.). Track: Indianapolis Raceway Park (oval, 0.686 miles, 12 degrees banking in turns). Race distance: 137.2 miles, 200 laps. Next race: Zippo 200, Aug. 13, Watkins Glen, N.Y. NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES Power Stroke Diesel 200 Site: Indianapolis. Schedule: Friday, qualifying, 3 p.m., race (Speed Channel, 5:30 p.m.). Track: Indianapolis Raceway Park (oval, 0.686 miles, 12 degrees banking in turns). Race distance: 137.2 miles, 200 laps. Next race: Toyota Tundra 200, Aug. 13, Lebanon, Tenn. last_img read more

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