Human Rights Concerns in IIOJ&K: A Call for International InterventionNovember 29, 2023
In a recent statement issued, the Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), a constituent of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, voiced serious concerns about the deplorable conditions faced by Kashmiris unlawfully detained in various jails across Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and mainland India. The DFP spokesman, Advocate Arshad Iqbal, highlighted the dismal situation where these detainees are reportedly enduring substandard living conditions, lacking basic facilities such as medical care and hygienic food.
The plight of Kashmiri detainees is exacerbated by the alleged misuse of detention as a means to stifle legitimate political expressions. The DFP asserts that, on one hand, the Indian government employs detention as a tool to suppress the authentic political voices of the Kashmiri people, while, on the other hand, Indian troops act with impunity, causing the death of innocent Kashmiris.
Particularly condemned by the DFP spokesman is the continued illegal detention of various Kashmiri figures, including the party President Shabbir Ahmed Shah and prominent Hurriyat leaders such as APHC Chairman Masarrat Aalam Butt, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, and Aasiya Andrabi. The spokesman contends that these figures are being unjustly punished for leading the ongoing struggle of Kashmiris for their right to self-determination.
Expressing further dismay, the spokesman pointed out that not only Hurriyat leaders but also human rights defenders, journalists, and members of civil society are facing victimization for their efforts in documenting and reporting grave human rights violations committed by Indian troops in the occupied territory. This broadening scope of harassment raises significant concerns about the stifling of dissent and the hindrance of efforts to bring attention to human rights abuses.
The statement also denounced the arrest of seven Kashmiri students under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for celebrating India’s defeat against Australia in the Cricket World Cup final. The DFP spokesman expressed concern over the harassment, humiliation, and torture inflicted on educated Kashmiri youth by Indian authorities merely for expressing support for their favorite cricket teams and players. This incident underscores a pattern of suppressing even the most benign expressions of dissent or celebration.
In a plea for international intervention, the DFP spokesman appealed to the United Nations and international human rights organizations to exert pressure on the Indian government to release all Kashmiri prisoners. The escalating instances of arbitrary detention, harassment, and human rights abuses in Indian-occupied Kashmir demand urgent attention from the international community. The DFP’s call for intervention underscores the need for a concerted effort to address the deteriorating human rights situation in the region and to ensure that the fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people are protected.