Amid calls from the various international human rights organization seeking an immediate release of prominent Kashmiri human rights defender, Khur-ram Parvez, a court in New Delhi has extended his judicial custody till 19 February 2022.
Khurram Parvez was arrested under the Unlaw-ful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on Novem-ber 22, 2021, following a raid by the sleuths of In-dia’s infamous National Investigation Agency (NIA) at his residence and office in Srinagar.
Parvez’s wife Sameena Mir in a media inter-view said that the family was planning to visit him [Parvez], but the jail authorities have stopped the visitation following the rise in Covid-19 cases. “As of now no visitor is allowed to visit jail. So, there was no point traveling to New Delhi,” she said.
Sameena Mir said that the family would con-tinue to press for her husband’s unconditional re-lease. “We will continue to pursue the case in the court,” she added.
Meanwhile, national and international rights bodies, activists and politicians have demanded the immediate release of Khurram Parvez.
In December last year, more than 28 British Par-liamentarians wrote a joint letter to the Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK) ex-pressing their concerns over Parvez’s detention and sought an explanation for his detention.
Earlier, the United Nations also expressed con-cern over the arrest of Parvez and called for his release.
“We are deeply concerned at the arrest of Kashmiri human rights defender Khurram Parvez under Indian counter-terrorism legislation, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA),” the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a statement.
In 2016, Parvez was slapped with draconian Public Safety Act (PSA). His arrest had come a day after he was barred from traveling to Switzerland to participate in a session of the UN Human Rights Council. He was released after 76 days of prison.
Khurram Parvez is the Chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and the Programme Coordinator of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS). He had lost his leg in a landmine while monitoring the 2004 parliamentary elections.—KMS