Khurram Parvez (Image via Kashmir Life)
Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) strongly condemns the unlawful detention and arrest of Human Rights defender Khurram Parvez. Khurram was to travel to Geneva to attend the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council to brief them on the human rights atrocities committed by the Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir.
Parveena Ahangar Chairperson of the APDP said that this illustrates the strident and manipulative Indian state policy by which they continue to deny our truth and impose their lies. Not only do they commit atrocities but they also want to hide them from the International community.
We demand that Khurram Parvez be immediately released.
We also demand that the people of Kashmir should be allowed to protest and express their demands for justice and self-determination without fear of reprisal or intimidation. Thousands of political prisoners who are being harassed and have been slapped with the draconian PSA are released and the draconian PSA be withdrawn.
Parveena Ahangar expressed her deep anguish at the current spate of violence and brutality unleashed on the people of Kashmir. In the last 70 days the Indian forces have killed 85 people, injured and maimed thousands, more than 500 (mostly teenagers and children) have suffered severe and permanent eye damage caused by the “ non lethal” pellet guns. “We at APDP understand the pain and grief of the affected families their loss is irreparable”, she said.
APDP salutes the people of Kashmir who are showing immense courage and resilience as they continue their valiant resistance against the gigantic State machinery. The entire population is under siege. We are being intimated and harassed as curfew is being enforced and all communication channels blocked. Hospitals are attacked and ambulance drivers beaten. Our journalists and photographers are being attacked. Armed forces are forcibly entering our homes, humiliating us, beating us brutally and targeting our assets. On the most auspicious occasion of Eid ul Azha we were forced to stay indoors and could not even participate in congregational prayers.
APDP fervently appeals to the International and the Indian Civil Society and Human rights community to respond to this brutality, which has been continuing for decades now and put pressure on the Indian State to allow the ONHCR fact-finding mission to visit Kashmir and assess the current situation.
As we continue to face state repression and the impossibility of justice; it becomes imperative that an international mechanism be set up to investigate human rights violations which include enforced disappearances, extra judicial killings, firing on unarmed protesters, torture, sexual violence, and unknown and mass graves.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”