UN criticises 'disturbing' arrest of rights activist in Indian-occupied Kashmir

Published November 23, 2021
A file photo of prominent Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez. — Photo via Twitter
A file photo of prominent Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez. — Photo via Twitter

The United Nations, as well as rights groups, have criticised the arrest of a prominent activist in Indian-occupied Kashmir on terror funding charges.

Khurram Parvez was arrested late on Monday by India's federal National Investigation Agency (NIA), an Indian official briefed on the situation told Reuters.

His residence and office were searched and a mobile phone, laptop and books seized, he added.

A spokesperson for the NIA confirmed Parvez's arrest on Tuesday.

He is being held under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which allows for the detention of up to six months without trial.

His lawyer, Parvez Imroz, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, called Parvez's arrest “disturbing”.

“He's not a terrorist, he's a human rights defender,” she said in a tweet.

Parvez, one of Kashmir's best-known activists, is head of Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, a group of rights organisations working in the region.

He was arrested and detained on similar charges in 2016, after being prevented from boarding a flight to attend a UN human rights forum in Geneva. He was eventually released without being convicted of any crime.

India has long faced allegations of rights abuses in the occupied territory — charges that New Delhi deny.

It tightly controls access to occupied Kashmir for foreign observers, including the UN.

Opinion

Editorial

Debt trap
Updated 30 May, 2024

Debt trap

The task before the government is to boost its tax-to-GDP ratio to the global average by taxing the economy’s untaxed and undertaxed sectors.
Foregone times
30 May, 2024

Foregone times

THE past, as they say, is a foreign country. It seems that the PML-N’s leadership has chosen to live there. Nawaz...
Margalla fires
30 May, 2024

Margalla fires

THE Margalla Hills — the sprawling 12,605-hectare national park — were once again engulfed in flames, with 15...
First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...