The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) on Friday condemned the arrest of freelance journalist Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi by the Delhi Police in connection with the bombing of an Israeli diplomat’s car in the Capital last month.
“The Delhi Police have cited Kazmi’s phone records, which reveal a number of recent calls to Iran and Syria, as part of the grounds on which he has been arrested. These calls were purely of a professional nature, in line with his work assignments,” the IFJ’s Asia-Pacific chapter said in a statement.
“With all respect for the legal process in India, the IFJ is concerned that Kazmi may have been identified for arrest based on his political views, rather than solid evidence and he should immediately be released on bail,” it further stated.
In a separate development, the DUJ organised a press conference attended by Kazmi’s family members and friends, including independent Rajya Sabha MP Mohammad Adeeb and Okhla MLA Asif Khan.
“He hardly showed any signs of jingoism, had impeccable credentials and a reputation of an upright objective journalist with definite views,” said the DUJ general secretary SK Pande.
Senior journalist Saeed Naqvi said,“Kazmi had the advantage of knowing a number of languages, including those spoken in West Asia. He had just been to Syria with a delegation...this should not be held against him.”
Kazmi’s two sons, who were present at the conference, said that their father was innocent. “No Iranian has ever stayed at our home. Even the scooty which the police has taken, has been lying unused at our house for two years,” said his elder son Shauzab.