Speakers condemn India’s utter disregard for HR obligations

Islamabad, June 25 (KMS): Speakers at a webinar in Islamabad have expressed their grave concerns over Indian government’s noncompliance with its international human rights obligations.

The webinar titled, “UN Special Rapporteurs Joint communications and Indian noncompliance”, was organised by Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) in collaboration with World Muslim Congress on the sidelines of the 47th session of UN Human Rights Council going on in Geneva.

The webinar was attended and addressed by noted human rights activists, scholars, academicians, international law experts and representatives of civil society rights organisations hailing from different parts of the world. The speakers included Dr Farhan Mujahid Chak Associate Professor of Political Science, Qatar University; Barrister Nadia Salam, law practitioner and writer; Prof Dr Mehmet Sukru, founder president of CPRS; Ms Marrina Zucca, human rights activist from Italy; Ambassador Dr Haissan Bousaid, special representative to UNOG; Advocate GN Shaheen, Chairman of Kashmir Council for Justice and Chief Spokesman of IIOJK High Court Bar Association; Giulia Ferreira DelGado, human rights expert; Mozzam Ali Sandhu, Commissioner for Human Rights at Citizens Commissions for Human Rights, UK; and Prof Dr Shagufta Ashraf, coordinator event at KIIR. The event was moderated by the Chairman KIIR/ Permanent Representative WMC to UN in Geneva, Altaf Hussain Wani.

Speaking on the occasion, the speakers, pointing to abysmal situation and gross human rights violations being committed by the Indian forces in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, said the UN Special Rapporteurs through their official communications addressed to the government of India regularly raised alarm over arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture, corporal punishment, extra-judicial killings, and siege and communication blockade in the trouble region and warned New Delhi that the policy of repression was not conform with global human rights norms.

Voicing their concerns on India’s noncompliance and blatant refusal to comply with international law and rights obligations they said, “India’s non-compliance with its international human rights obligations reflects its willful defiance and utter disregard to basic human rights sanctified by various international covenants.”

Stressing the need for early implementation of OHCHR (Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) and UPR (Universal Periodic Review) recommendations and establishment of commission of Inquiry as recommended by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights they said that an in-depth investigation of past and ongoing human rights by a team of the UN mandated experts was imperative to put an end to the continued bloodshed and violence in the occupied territory.

Referring to fast deteriorating political and human rights situation in IIOJK in the aftermath of India’s 5 August 2019 illegal actions, the speakers said that the forcible annexation has pushed the region into a quagmire of uncertainty, chaos and perpetual violence that continue to take toll on precious human lives. Describing India’s actions as ultra vires, they said that along with abrogation of article 370 and 35A the changes made in the Domicile Law of IIOJK was a flagrant violation of Geneva conventions and UN resolution on Kashmir.

Expressing their anguish over using rape as a weapon of war in the occupied territory by India, they said that besides involving in this shameful practice the Indian Army also uses child soldiers as mercenaries.

About absence of space for dissent and restrictions on people’s essential fundamental freedoms in India and IIOJK they said that under Modi’s rule the Indian state has been completely transformed into a fascist state where people have been deprived of basic fundamental rights. The speakers criticized the Indian Supreme Court for its bias and prejudice against the Kashmiris.

Urging the international community to hold the Indian government accountable for the crimes its forces have been committing against humanity in IIOJK, the speakers called for initiation of an inclusive dialogue to create conducive atmosphere for a peaceful settlement of the lingering dispute in line with the UN resolutions.