UN expert calls for end to crackdown on Kashmiris

Published March 25, 2023
The logo of the United Nations is seen in the General Assembly hall before heads of state begin to address the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 21, 2021. — Reuters/File
The logo of the United Nations is seen in the General Assembly hall before heads of state begin to address the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 21, 2021. — Reuters/File

INDIA must immediately end its crackdown against Kashmiri human rights defenders, a UN expert said on Friday, after renowned Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez was arrested in a second case on terrorism charges.

Mary Lawlor, a UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said the arrest and detention of persons for exercising their human rights are arbitrary.

“There must be accountability and remedy where such abusive actions are taken”, she added.

Kashmiri rights activist Khurram Parvez, 46, was already in jail since last year November. On Wednesday he was formally arrested by the National Investigation Agency on a charge of funding “terrorism”.

Lawlor said: “Indian authorities appear to be intensifying the long-standing repression of Kashmiri civil society,” adding that the “state must respect its human rights obligations and be held accountable where it violates them”.

“Time and time again, the government has been called upon to address the fundamental issues with the country’s anti-terrorism framework and its misuse to smear and silence against human rights defenders,” Lawlor said.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2023

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