OIC condemns 'inhuman curfew'; calls for immediate restoration of civil liberties in occupied Kashmir

September 04, 2019

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A statement issued by the OIC's human rights commission says the entire occupied Kashmir has turned into the world’s largest prison. — AFP/File
A statement issued by the OIC's human rights commission says the entire occupied Kashmir has turned into the world’s largest prison. — AFP/File

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) human rights commission on Tuesday strongly condemned the continuation of the "inhuman curfew and communication blackout" in India-occupied Kashmir and called for immediate restoration of civil liberties.

"The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the OIC is appalled by the continuation of stifling inhuman security blockade/curfew and communication blackout imposed by Indian security forces since August 5 with no letting up in sight despite widespread international condemnation," read a statement issued by the organisation.

The human rights commission said the entire occupied Kashmir has turned into the world’s largest prison with severe human rights and humanitarian repercussions on the innocent Kashmiri population.

"Despite this iron curtain blockade, there are credible media reports confirming that over 5,000 — mostly young Kashmiris — have been illegally detained by the [Indian] security forces, entire Kashmiri political leadership is incarcerated without any legal recourse, and journalists and human rights activists are being prosecuted on false charges."

It said that the continuation of mass human rights violations by the Indian security forces with impunity under an exclusionary ideology of Hindutva reflects an obvious state bias, which led to the issuance of genocide alerts by international human rights organisations.

"These are deplorable and blatant violations of Kashmiris’ fundamental human rights including the right to life, right to freedom of expression, right to peaceful protest and assembly, which are contrary to international human rights laws and in violation of India’s commitments and international human rights obligations."

The IPHRC also welcomed the statement issued by the Rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Council, which termed the ongoing blackout as "a form of collective punishment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir" and expressed concerns over the illegal detentions and enforced disappearances of young protesters and use of excessive force including live ammunition to disperse the protests.

"The IPHRC supports the recommendation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish a commission of inquiry under the UN auspices to comprehensively investigate all the allegations of human rights violations."

The commission also welcomed and echoed the call made by the OIC to the government of India to immediately lift the curfew and communication blackout in the occupied Kashmir.

It also urged the Indian government to grant access to the UN and OIC fact-finding missions to visit the occupied Kashmir to independently and objectively ascertain the human rights situation on the ground.