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Journalists use the internet inside a government-run media center in Srinagar on January 10, 2020. The Indian Supreme Court today criticized internet restrictions that have obstructed the media for five months. (Reuters/Danish Ismail)

India should restore internet in Kashmir as court orders shutdown review

January 10, 2020 1:50 PM ET

New York, January 10, 2020--The Indian Supreme Court ordered a review of the legal process used to implement the ongoing shutdown in Indian-controlled Kashmir today. The ruling affirmed that freedom of speech “using the medium of internet is constitutionally protected."

“The Indian government has used this shutdown to silence the people and press of Kashmir and limit access to information inside and outside the region,” said Aliya Iftikhar, CPJ’s senior Asia researcher. “The Supreme Court ruling is a welcome step towards greater transparency and due process surrounding internet censorship, and reaffirms that a free press is a vital tenet of democracy. The next step is for the government to immediately lift all restrictions.”

At 159 days, the internet shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir is the longest ever recorded in a democracy, according to The Washington Post. CPJ has documented how the ongoing restrictions have created a climate of fear and pushed Kashmiri news media to an existential crisis.

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