Amnesty International calls on Indian govt to release political leaders in Kashmir
Amnesty International UK has called on the Indian government to immediately release all the political leaders detained in occupied Kashmir and put an end to the deliberate silencing of voices in the region. Executive Director of Amnesty International in India Aakar Patel voiced concerns over the situation in occupied Kashmir and said that depriving an entire population of their right to freedom of expression, opinion and movement for an indefinite period runs squarely counter to the international norms and standards.
“For the 22nd day in a row, life has been derailed for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The communication blockade and security clampdown, the alleged detention of political leaders and restrictions on media to report has created an information black hole in Jammu and Kashmir, a region which has witnessed serious human rights violations in the past,” he said in a statement. He added, “Depriving an entire population of their right to freedom of expression, opinion and movement for an indefinite period runs squarely counter to international norms and standards. Worse, it gives the Government of India a near-total control over the information coming out of the region.
“This turns the fear of human rights violations that may occur yet remain unreported into a reality which only stands to perpetuate impunity and diminish accountability in Jammu and Kashmir – a culture the Government of India continues to extend in spite of its promises of development and change.” The organisation said it was concerned about the wider human rights impact of the communication clampdown. Indian troops have continued their clampdown on the valley since August 5, when the Modi government revoked occupied Kashmir's special status. Over 10,000 political leaders and workers including top Hurriyat leadership are in detention. The jails and police stations are said to have run out of space and many detainees have been lodged in makeshift detention centres and in jails outside the territory.