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Kashmiris arrested for their social media posts by India

On January 25th, Jammu and Kashmir Police in the Reasi area of occupied Jammu and Kashmir registered two cases and booked three persons, who were arrested for allegedly posting “objectionable” posts on social media platforms.

India has consistently detained and intimidated Kashmiris for their social media use. In June 2023, State Investigation Agency of India conducted midnight raids at many locations in four districts of occupied Kashmir, namely Srinagar, Islamabad (also known in state nomenclature as Anantnag), Pulwama and Kupwara. According to the police, the social media users who were “promoting secessionist agenda” were targeted in the raid. India calls all calls for Kashmiri right to self-determination as secessionist and criminalizes it. The phones and electronic devices of pro-freedom Kashmiri social media users were seized during the raid. The raids reflect how India is not willing to tolerate even a social media post that may question India’s military occupation of the region.

On 21st September, the Jammu and Kashmir Police illegally detained a Kashmiri Facebook user, accusing him of “promoting anti-national activities”. On 9th December, India arrested around 12 Kashmiris for allegedly uploading “provocative” content on social media. Around 4 Kashmiris were arrested from Kashmir’s Islamabad district, 2 from Budgam district, 2 from Ganderbal district, 1 from Baramulla district, and about 3 civilians from Shopian, Kulgam, and Pulwama districts. The families of 3 of the detainees, speaking to us on the condition of anonymity, stated that their family members were arrested for condemning the derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made by an extremist Hindu student studying in a university in Kashmir.

The repression reflects how no avenue of dissent is tolerated and a totalitarian control over speech is maintained by the Indian government.

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