IIOJK in focus

Release of Khurram Parvez, all other Kashmiri detainees demanded


Srinagar: The All Parties Hurriyat Conference has demanded immediate release of all illegally detained Kashmiris including prominent human rights defender, Khurram Parvez.

According to Kashmir Media Service, Khurram Parvez completed two years under illegal detention, today. He was arrested on this day in 2021 by India’s dreaded National Investigation Agency (NIA) on various trumped-up charges including “waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India”. He was later booked under draconian law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The APHC spokesman in a statement issued in Srinagar deplored that Khurram Parvez is being punished by India for highlighting the human rights violations by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir. He maintained that the arrest of Khurram Parvez is yet another example of how anti-terror laws are being misused to target the Kashmiris.

The spokesman said that besides Khurram Parvez, thousands of Kashmiris including APHC Chairman Masarrat Aalam Butt, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Aasiya Andrabi, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Fehmeeda Sofi, Naheeda Nasreen, Ayaz Muhammad Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Raja Merajuddin Kalwal, Shahid-ul-Islam, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Mushtaqul Islam, Molvi Bashir Irfani, Bilal Siddiqi, Dr Muhammad Qasim Fakhtoo, Dr Abdul Hameed Fayaz, and journalists Aasif Sultan and Irfan Mehraj are languishing in different jails of India and occupied Kashmir. He urged the international community to play its role for the release of these detainees.

Meanwhile, APHC leader, Devinder Singh Behl, in a statement issued in Jammu urged India to immediately release all Kashmiri prisoners. He also appreciated the statement of Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, in which he said that lasting peace cannot be established in South Asia without the settlement of the Kashmir dispute. Behl said Pakistan has always extended political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiris’ just struggle for the right to self-determination. He said Pakistan has always advocated peaceful resolution of the lingering dispute but India’s stubbornness has remained the main impediment in achieving this objective.

On the other hand, several international human rights organisations, including the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), in a joint statement have condemned the continued illegal detention of Khurram Parvez and Kashmiri journalist, Irfan Mehraj, under politically motivated charges. They pointed out that the Indian authorities’ persecution of Khurram Parvez and Irfan Meraj is an emblematic part of their ongoing, systematic criminalization of civil society, and the defense of human rights, in occupied Kashmir.

The rights bodies called upon the Indian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Khurram Parvez and Irfan Mehraj, to drop all charges against them, and to end all kinds of harassment against all Kashmiri human rights defenders and civil society organisations.

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