Crippling effect of UAPA on dissent in IIOJK upsets speakers

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Speakers at a Webinar organised by Kashmir Insti-tute of International Relations (KIIR) in collaboration with World Muslim Congress expressed their grave concerns over the misuse of UAPA and other draconian laws against human rights defenders, journalists, political activists in Indian illegally oc-cupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The webinar titled “Use of Repressive Legisla-tions Like UAPA and Others to Silence Freedom of Expression” was held on the sidelines of 47th ses-sion of the UN Human Rights Council, and was attended by noted human rights activists, scholars, academicians, international law experts and repre-sentatives of civil society rights organizations hail-ing from different parts of the world.

Among those who attended the event include former MEP Ms Julie Ward the former member European Parlia-ment, Dr. Claude Rakisits, Barrister Tanvir Munim, Duke Salman Khan, Dr. M Shahid Amin Khan, Ambassador Malik Nadeem Abid, Dr. Prof. Sha-gufta Ashraf, Advocate Pervez Shah and others. It was moderated by KIIR Chairman Altaf Hussain Wani.

Speakers while voicing their serious concerns over the crippling effect of black laws on dissent in Kashmir said that the rampant use of the laws such as UAPA, PSA and other laws have led to ruthless suppression of dissent in the region.

Along with arbitrary arrests and unlawful deten-tions of thousands of Kashmiris they said that the misuse of these laws have also led criminalization of journalism and legitimate opinions, muzzling of the media and controlling the narratives.

“It is ram-pantly used against people the BJP government deemed a political threat or dissenting”, they said.

In Kashmir, they said, the notorious law was be-ing frequently invoked against political leaders, activists, academicians, journalists, rights defenders and members of civil society to ensure silence of a grave-yard and homogeneity in the society.the law as a weapon to Silence Freedom of Expression.—KMS

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