Pakistan urges UN to get Asiya Andrabi released

Published January 4, 2021
Pakistan has approached the UN secretary general in New York and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva to seek an immediate release of Kashmiri activist and poli­tical leader, Asiya Andrabi. — APP/File
Pakistan has approached the UN secretary general in New York and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva to seek an immediate release of Kashmiri activist and poli­tical leader, Asiya Andrabi. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has approached the UN secretary general in New York and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva to seek an immediate release of Kashmiri activist and poli­tical leader, Asiya Andrabi, who is incarcerated in the infamous Tihar Jail in India.

According to the Foreign Office, the top UN officials have been informed that Ms Andrabi’s life is in danger owing to imminent risk of persecutory conviction by a sham court on Jan 18, 2021.

As a human rights activist and an ardent advocate of women empowerment, Ms Andrabi has worked tire­lessly for social reforms and realisation of fundamental freedoms for the people of the Indian Illegally Occu­pied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) for over four decades.

She founded an organisa­tion called Dukhtaran-e-Millat, which is one of the biggest women rights organisations in IIOJK, wor­king on women’s education, empowerment, well-being and protection — especially against sexual violence and abuse at the hands of Indian occupation forces.

Asiya Andrabi has been under illegal and inhuman incarceration for more than 15 years on fabricated charges under draconian laws aimed at perpetuating India’s occupation of IIOJK through brutalisation of Kashmiri people.

The Indian authorities have now put Ms Andrabi on trial on trumped up charges, deliberately accelerated the trial, and set aside due process, reflecting malicious intent with clear indications of looming judicial murder.

“India’s blatant attempts to portray the legitimate Kashmiri struggle as “terrorism”, and to prosecute its leaders through concocted cases, is a clear violation of the UN Charter, UN Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions, and international human rights and humanitarian law,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

Pakistan has also called upon the United Nations to urge India to drop all fabricated charges against Ms Andrabi, her husband and her associates, and provide them complete legal protection, including the right to a free and fair trial, release all detainees, especially political prisoners and human rights defenders in IIOJK, repeal draconian laws such as AFSPA, PSA, and UAPA, allow UN-supervised investigations into cases of extra-judicial executions and other serious and systematic human rights violations, and fully implement all recommendations of the two Kashmir reports of OHCHR, including the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2021

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