Manchester based journalist threatened with deportation

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

The National Union of Journalists says it will be supporting Amitt Bhatt, an investigative journalist from Kashmir, who is seeking asylum in the UK.

Now based in the North West, Bhatt fled India after he said investigations into government corruption put him under threat.

He has written 3 books about human rights abuses in his home region of Kashmir and an attempt is currently going through the courts to ban 2 of them.

Bhatt claims that following his second book, he was arrested by the Indian police and tortured and beaten until his escape from detention in mid-March 2011. He said that he went into hiding for 3 years, before claiming asylum in the UK in 2014.

“The lack of safety for journalists in India is a serious concern to the NUJ, our sister unions in the country and the International Federation of Journalists. Amitt's journalistic activities would make him particularly vulnerable given the current situation in India,” said the NUJ in a statement.

“The IFJ has recorded numerous incidents against journalists in India including threats and intimidation, harassment, kidnapping, murder, torture, extra-judicial killings, false criminal and sedition cases, and unlawful censorship.

“We are also aware of the authorities acting with impunity against journalists including unlawful detention, killings, disappearances and there is a deliberate absence of justice for the perpetrators by the police and other security agencies.

“For these reasons we are pressing for Amitt to remain in the UK and to enable him to continue his journalistic career without fear of threats or retaliation.”

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