It’s been over a month since Urdu journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi’s, who was arrested by Delhi police special cell for allegedly facilitating the Israel embassy car blast, family and members of the journalist fraternity continue to run a campaign demanding his release.
Under the banner of Kazmi Solidarity Committee, activists and journalists held a press conference demanding his immediate release on Wednesday at the Delhi Press Club. “Kazmi was detained outside the India Islamic Centre. They searched his house. What was legal in all this? Why haven’t they filed a chargesheet yet?” asked senior journalist Seema Mustafa. “Initially, Indian government had categorically said that it does not believe Iran was responsible for the bombing. Israel is playing a geo-political game. India’s position changed and Kazmi’s arrest showed that… Kazmi is a decent human being. He’s an Urdu journalist and has written and contributed to Iranian news agencies. It is a clear conspiracy,” she added.
John Cherian, associate editor of Frontline, said that Kazmi was being victimised. “Kazmi sahab was the easiest scapegoat. A lot of us, including Syed Kazmi and Seema, went to Iraq in 2002 to cover the war… That was the first time I met him. We had met in Syria again last year,” said Cherian. He is not from the mainstream media and happens to be an Urdu journalist with strong views on Israel… Kazmi has always been proud of the work he’s done having covered wars. He is also very proud of his family. I hope he comes out unscathed. We will demand heavy reparation after his release for the wrongful arrest,” added Cherian.
Kazmi’s wife Jahan Ara made an appeal to journalists to stand up to one of their tribe. “If America and Israel are angry at whatever Kazmi has written, I apologise to them on his behalf. We have never lived on what Iran or Israel or America has provided us. Kazmisahab has always been an honest man… I just hope we he’s freed,” said a teary eyed Jahan.
Lawyer Colin Gonsalves rubbished Delhi police claims that there was a strong case. He opined that Kazmi could, in fact, seek legal action against Delhi police for his wrongful arrest. Shabnam Hashmi of ANHAD and Manisha Sethi, President of Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA) also spoke at the conference. The committee also released an appeal signed by eminent journalists, film-makers and activists.
- ‘International pressure led to Kazmi’s arrest’ (thehindu.com)
- Syed Kazmi arrest raises questions on authenticity of probe (alhittin.com)