Yet another Kashmiri journalist has been stopped by the Indian authorities from flying abroad as outrage grows over a continuing clampdown on press freedom in Indian-administered Kashmir and its residents.
Independent journalist Aakash Hassan, 25, was on his way to Sri Lanka for a reporting assignment last week when immigration officials at New Delhi airport barred him from boarding the flight, making him the fourth Kashmiri journalist in about a year to face the action.
“I got my boarding pass and when I was at the immigration, I was told to wait at the side,” Hassan told Al Jazeera.
“Then I was taken to a room and interrogated by two people who did not identify themselves. They asked me what kind of journalism I do. They asked about my background,” he said.
Hassan said the interrogation continued for five hours.
“My passport and boarding pass were stamped with ‘Stopped without prejudice’ and my luggage was offloaded,” said Hassan, who also shared pictures of the stamping on Twitter.
The immigration officials, Hassan said, did not provide any justification for why he was stopped.
“They said there was a lookout circular issued on my name but they denied disclosing which agency had issued it,” he said.
A lookout circular is issued by India’s law enforcement agencies to stop an individual – either absconding or wanted – from leaving the country. It is mostly used at immigration checkpoints at international airports.
This story was originally published in aljazeera.com . Read the full story here