Arbitrary Arrests Tear Apart Journalists' Families in Kashmir - IAMC
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Arbitrary Arrests Tear Apart Journalists’ Families in Kashmir

When Gulzar Ahmad Dar reads the local newspaper, he isn’t interested in the news and latest events in Kashmir. He wants to know what is happening to his son, Manan Gulzar Dar. The photojournalist, whose work has appeared in local outlets and publications such as The Guardian and the Pacific Press photo agency, was arrested October 10 as part of a conspiracy case in which India says militant groups were plotting to take action….

Kashmiri lawyer Mirza Saaib Bég told VOA that the prevailing uncertainty on what will merit a charge under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or other anti-terror laws has a direct and detrimental effect on the quality of information available to the public. “Even in a situation where the charge is proven false, reliance on anti-terror legislation has potential to create suspicion and indifference towards the victim because the general public assumes that the person must have done something to merit being charged under a legislation as drastic as the UAPA,” said Bég….

India’s anti-terror laws are vaguely worded and broadly designed, granting sweeping powers of detention that can extend for many months even before the matter is listed before any court, he said. “The law fails to provide any legal safeguards that would prevent arbitrary abuse of the powers. These anti-terror legislations are so prone to abuse that one may wonder whether they have been shaped in this manner out of incompetence or out of malice,” Bég said….

This article originally appeared in VOA