India

Activists and Intellectuals demand Immediate Release of Syed Mohd Kazmi

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

Syed Mohammad Kazmi (50) has been arrested by Delhi Police Special Cell for allegedly having played a facilitating role for the sticky bomb attack on the Israeli Embassy’s Car on 13 February 2012 in New Delhi. Human Rights activists and public intellectuals have written a letter to the Government of India raising questions on the arrest and have demanded not to surrender the due process of law on the pressures from Israel and the United States. The letter is produced below:

Letter to the Government of India

The undersigned condemn the arrest of senior journalist Syed Mohammad Kazmi by the Delhi Police Special Cell in connection with the attack on Israeli diplomat last month. Mr. Kazmi’s arrest is reminiscent of the arrest and false allegations against another veteran journalist, Iftikhar Gilani, several years ago. We fear that Mr. Kazmi may be made a scapegoat in order to please an international lobby. It is no secret that Israel held Iran culpable within minutes of the attack, and there has been immense pressure on India to sever its ties with Iran—both from Israel and the US (to the extent that US displayed its obvious unhappiness to foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai with the fact that India was not heeding the unilateral sanctions imposed by the US on Iran).

Israel also pressurized India to support a resolution condemning “Iranian terrorism” in the UN Security Council. While the Indian government has so far held out against the pressure, even refusing to implicate Iran in the attack, a recent report in Jerusalem Post stated that, “Israel provided the Indian authorities with information on two suspects in the attack connected with Iran” (http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=257830). Has Mr. Kazmi been picked up upon tips provided by Israeli agencies? How credible can these inputs be, given Israel’s clear intent to condemn and implicate Iran as the source of the attack? We are anxious that the Persian-knowing Mr. Kazmi, a journalist with the Iranian News agency, IRNA, who would obviously be in regular touch with his sources and employers in Iran and the Iranian embassy, is being targeted precisely because of these reasons. 

Mr. Kazmi is well respected and known to the journalist fraternity for his professional integrity. We demand that he be immediately released on bail and the due process of law followed.

 

In solidarity,

Manisha Sethi, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association

Ajit Sahi, Senior Journalist, Delhi

Mahtab Alam, Civil Rights Activist and Freelance Journalist

Seema Mustafa, Senior Journalist  

Arundhati Roy, Writer and Activist

Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, JNU

Prof. Amwar Alam, Center for West Asian Studies, Jamia

Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD

Javed Naqvi, Senior Journalist

Sanjay Kak, Filmmaker

Prof. Sohini Ghosh, MCRC, Jamia

Sadiq Naqvi, Journalist

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