‘Authorities writing dark chapter in history’

While globally journalists are facing difficulties in venturing out, however, like other journalists in the region, I am covering the pandemic in the backdrop of communication restrictions. As the Kashmir region has witnessed the longest communication shutdown of 213 days from Aug. 4 2019 till March 4 2020.

About this project

This project was produced by VOA’s Extremism Watch and Press Freedom desks. It includes a snapshot of restrictions and challenges for media covering COVID-19 worldwide and personal views of journalists who spoke with VOA.

It would be hard for you to believe, but it is true that I had to change my cell phone number as I used to have a pre-paid mobile SIM card and the government, since August last year, has stopped internet services on it. So, I have to secure a fresh one as to have access to the internet. This has added to my challenges as all my sources and contacts don’t have my updated cell number. So sometimes they don’t receive my call.

Even on the new SIM card, I have access to restricted services to 2G and not the high-speed internet. Even doctors are not able to download material on COVID-19.

By continuing the restrictions on internet, the authorities are writing a dark chapter in history.