Human Rights in Kashmir

Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on Monday asked the International community and Human Rights organisations to take notice of the Human Rights violation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). The Minister called upon the United Nations, International Human Rights Agencies including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as women organisations including the International Women Caucuses to take action of the issue. Addressing a press conference here with the family members of imprisoned Kashmiri freedom fighter, Asiya Andrabi she said India under the Modi Government has continued and expanded violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The Minister met with Asiya’s family upon their request, earlier today. Shireen Mazari pointed out that under Geneva Convention IV, Article 49, it was prohibited to transfer an individual or group of “protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the occupying power… regardless of their motive.” In complete violation, India has breached Article 49 multiple times by imprisoning Dr Ashiq Hussain Faktoo (the longest serving political prisoner), Asiya Andrabi and other Kashmiri leaders in Kashmiri prisons, particularly the notorious Tihar Jail, she said. This included Syed Ali Gilani, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Ashraf Sehrani, Dr Fayyaz, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik and Musarrat Alam Bhat, the minister said. Presently, Mazari said, Fehmida Sufi and Naheeda Nasreen were in Rihar Jail along with Asiya Andrabi. The detainment of these prisoners was also a war crime under Article 82 (2b, VIII) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), read with Article 143 of Geneva Convention IV. Moreover, the minister said, India was also in breach of Article 76 of the 4th Geneva Convention which stipulated that detained prisoners should have the right to be visited by delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Article 76 further stipulated that women should be confined in separate quarters and should be under the direct supervision of women, she said. The Minister duly pointed out that the Indian Supreme Court in a judgment in November 2012 defined life imprisonment as “till death”, a precedent they are using this to imprison Asiya for life. The judgement is expected between the January 14th to 18th.

Sohail Ali Khan


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