Altaf Hamid Rao,
Geneva/ MIRPUR [AJK], (Parliament Times) : Prominent rights activist and WMC permanent representative Altaf Hussain Wani has said that the Indian state has crushed every space for human rights defenders in occupied Kashmir besides using its notorious agency and draconian laws such as UAPA to harass and intimidate civil society and human rights activists.
Taking part through video link in general debate held under agenda Item 5, Wani said that India has been unabashedly using black laws to suppress critical voices who have time and again raised their voice against India’s brutal suppression of Kashmiris. He said that it was quite unfortunate that the human rights defenders were targeted for their untiring efforts to highlight the prevailing political and human rights in the situation and for engaging with the UN and other international human rights groups on the issue.
“The freedom to engage with the UN is a basic exercise of fundamental freedoms and human rights of all, and must be respected and protected”, he said adding that when those engaging with the UN face intimidation, threats to life, imprisonment and worse for doing so, “we all lose and the credibility of the UN is damaged”.
Drawing the council’s attention towards thegrave situation in the Indian held territory of Jammu and Kashmir where human rights defenders face reprisals and intimidation on a daily basis, Wani said that the offices of Human rights organisations were raided and all documents seized by the Indian notorious agency-the NIA.
Referring to arrest of prominent rights activist Khurram Pervaiz and others, he said, “The detention of Internationally renowned human rights defender and framing him under sedition charges under bogus terror funding case sent shock waves to all those who cooperate with UN mechanism”. Khurram, he said, was the last link between victims of Indian state terrorism and UN human rights machinery.
Reminding the council of its obligations, Altaf Hussain Wani said, “It is the responsibility of this council and office of the high commission to press for the safe release of Khurram parvez and other human rights defenders”.
Khurum Parvaiz, he said, is just one example of millions who suffer under Indian occupation, oppression and subjugation.
He said that the people of Kashmir suffer justfor demanding the right to self-determination according to UN Security Council Resolutions.