India failed to address key HR concerns expressed at UPR sessions



Speakers at a webinar while expressing serious concerns over India’s noncompliance with the recommendations agreed during UPR’s 3rd cycle, have said that despite strong protests from human rights organizations including the United Nations and the OIC, the Indian government has failed to address the key human rights concerns expressed during third Universal Periodic Review.

The webinar organized by the Kashmir Institute of International Relations in collaboration with the World Muslim Congress, IMWU, and IAPSD on the sidelines of the 41st session of Universal periodic review was attended and addressed by prominent human rights activists, law experts, academicians, and diplomats hailing from different parts of the world including Dr. Imtiaz Khan, Marry Scully, Cecilia Jastrzembska, Robert Fantina, Gurpreet Singh, Prof Dr. Mehmet Sukru Guzel, Ms. Sheni Hamid, Mariana Zucca, Dr. Farhan Mujahid Chak, Ms. Farzana Yaqoob, Advocate Nasir Qadri Dr. Saira Shah, Laura Schamaz, Prof. Amna Mehmood, Advocate Parvez Ahmed Shah. The event was moderated by noted rights activist and Chairman Kashmir Institute of International relations Altaf Hussain Wani.

“Given the scale of human rights challenges that Kashmiris face, it is extremely disappointing to see that India’s repressive regime led by Hindu supremacists has been brazenly flaunting the UPR recommendations and commitments regarding the improvement of the human rights situation in the Indian-held territory of Jammu and Kashmir”, the speakers said.

Terming India’s 5th August 2019 decision as an outrageous attack on Kashmiris’ national identity, the speakers on the occasion, called upon Indian government to reverse 5th August action, which they said was against the spirit of the Geneva conventions and UNSC resolutions on Kashmir.

Voicing their concern over the continued bloodshed and violence in the disputed territory, they observed that the draconian laws enforced in the state were the main cause of human rights violations in the region. “Colonial-era tactics such as criminalizing freedom of expression and opinion, reprisals against human rights defenders and civil society activists are being used as a tool to suppress the voices of dissent in Kashmir”, the speakers said, adding that miss using anti-terror laws by the authorities was yet another serious that merits urgent attention of the global community.

They demanded of the government of India to repeal all draconian laws, release political prisoners, and human rights defenders Including Khurram Parveez, and Ashan Untoo and give access to the UN special rapporteur and other mandate holders to Indian-occupied Kashmir to assess the situation on the ground. They also urged the Indian government to allow UN fact-finding missions to Indian-occupied Kashmir to investigate ongoing and past human rights violations.

“India is one of only a few countries that have yet to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”, the speakers said adding that India deliberately running away from being party to such conventions because of the high rate of torture cases in Kashmir and other parts of India where religious minorities were persecuted ruthlessly and treated as second class citizens.—KMS


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