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Pakistan seeks UN role for release of Kashmiri HR activist Asiya Andrabi

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday urged the United Nations to intervene and seek immediate release of Kashmiri human rights activist and political leader Asiya Andrabi.

Pakistan approached the United Nations Secretary General in New York and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva to seek immediate release of Kashmiri human rights activist and political leader, Asiya Andrabi, incarcerated in infamous Tihar Jail in India, said a foreign ministry statement issued here.

It has been highlighted that Andrabi’s life was in danger owing to imminent risk of persecutory conviction by a sham court on January 18, 2020. As a champion of human rights and an ardent advocate of women empowerment, Andrabi has worked tirelessly for social reforms and realisation of fundamental freedoms for the people of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir for over four decades. 

She founded an organisation called Dukhtaran-e-Millat, which is one of the biggest women rights organisations in IIOJK, working on women’s education, empowerment, well-being and protection — especially against sexual violence and abuse at the hands of Indian occupation forces.
Andrabi has been under illegal and inhuman incarceration for more than 15 years on fabricated charges under draconian laws aimed at further perpetuating India’s illegal occupation of IIOJK through brutalisation of the Kashmiri people.

The Indian authorities have now put Andrabi on trial on trumped up charges; deliberately accelerated the trial; and set aside due process, reflecting malicious intent with clear indications of looming judicial murder.

“India’s blatant attempts to portray the legitimate Kashmiri struggle as “terrorism”, and to prosecute its leaders through concocted cases, is a clear violation of the UN Charter, UN Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions, and international human rights and humanitarian law,” said the foreign ministry statement.

Pakistan called upon the United Nations to urge India to drop all fabricated charges against Andrabi, her husband and her associates, and provide them complete legal protections, including the right to a free and fair trial. Pakistan urged India to “release all detainees, especially political prisoners and human rights defenders in IIOJK, repeal draconian laws such as AFSPA, PSA and UAPA, allow UN-supervised investigations into cases of extra-judicial executions and other serious and systematic human rights violations.” Islamabad asked India to fully implement all recommendations of the two Kashmir reports of OHCHR, including the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry.