United Nations High Commissioner demands the immediate release of Khurram Parvez

United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights and International Human Rights Organizations demand the immediate release all political prisoners in Indian Occupied Kashmir, including Khurram Parvez

The Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA)   on Monday 22 November 2021 arrested the world famous human rights activist, Khurram Parvez during a raid on his residence and his office in the Kashmiri capital city Srinagar.   The legal basis of Mr Parvez’s detention is unclear and his legal representatives have been denied access to him.

According to reports, Mr. Parvez recently has been sent to 3-week judicial custody and has been shifted to the notorious Tihar jail in New Delhi. This is the jail where India hanged Muhammad Afzal Guru on 9th February, 2013 and Muhammad Maqbool Butt on 11th February, 1984. Their bodies remained buried in the premises of the jail, their families have never got back their remains. This latest step by the Indian authorities makes people of good well worry about his physical safety and in particular his life.

Mr Parvez has gained an international  reputation for his research into human rights abuses in the disputed territory of Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir and for his advocacy in the cause of self-determination for the people of Kashmir. He is currently chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) which is a coalition of various campaign, research and advocacy organizations based in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir which monitors and investigates human right abuses in the territory.

He is also the program coordinator of Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS).  He is the author of the report book “STRUCTURES OF VIOLENCE the Indian State in Jammu & Kashmir” and a recipient of the 2006  Rebook Human Rights Award. He is also the chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (Afad), an international rights organization which looks into the forced disappearances in Kashmir and elsewhere in Asia.

In 2016, Indian authorities had arrested Mr Parvez a day after he was barred from travelling to Switzerland to attend the 33rd session of United Nations Human Rights Council, and had charged him under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA), which allows detention without charge for up to two years. Parvez is far not the only person who suffers from the brutality of the Indian government. The list of the unlawful arrested politicians, journalists, human rights defenders is much too long.

The work of Mr Parvez in documenting the flagrant human rights abuses perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces on their side of the line of control has served to highlight the repressive nature of Indian policy in Kashmir. Furthermore, his work has made it impossible for the international community to stand passively on the sidelines ignoring the disappearances of innocent civilians, the extra-judicial killings, use of rape as a weapon against women indeed all the aspects of the fiction that portrays India as a principled democracy. 

It’s a sin that Indian military personal continue involved in crimes against humanity in the occupied territory in Jammu & Kashmir.  These activities are violation of the Geneva Convention and international law.  

 Europe likes to consider itself as the guardian of global human rights. But if Europe, is to maintain credibility in such a role it must adopt an active use its influence to modify the behaviour of countries in clear breach of the Geneva Convention and not rely on chance to change the behavior of partners. 

The foundation of the European Union based on human rights but we do not understand why there is not any meaningful reaction to stop India of destroying property, killing civilians, using pellet guns on children. Is the economical and geopolitical interest is more important than the saving of innocent people’s life in a remote territory? The wait-and-see attitude of the European Union’s leaders and politicians, who are distancing themselves from the current events, no longer acceptable.

European politicians, decision makers of the European Union, United Nations and also human rights organizations of the world to come forward and pressurize the Indian government to stop human rights abuses in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir and release all the political prisoners, including  Khurram Parvez without any delay.

The oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir putting all their hopes on the International community and the EU to come to their help. For how long they must wait?

Source: Endre Barcs