Indian Occupied Kashmir…There is 1 Indian army personnel for every 7 Kashmiris
(Image via AFP)
Mr. Ban ki-Moon
Through this memorandum may we bring to your kind attention that today is the International Human Rights Day being observed all over the globe in support and promotion of the basic human rights of the people. Sixty Six years ago United Nations in 1950 decided to observe this day as such. The world body has adopted many declarations and covenants about the human rights of the people including the Right of Self Determination, Right to Liberty, Justice, and about many political and economic rights. All these declarations and covenants, however, remain hollow for the people of Kashmir because they are worst victims of the abuse of these rights. Be it right of self determination, right to life or right to liberty and security every right is denied to them.
The population in Jammu and Kashmir is continuously being held against their will by politico – military apparatus of India. Instead of making laws to protect the basic human rights of the people, laws like Armed Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Disturbed Area Act and Public Safety Act are in force to encourage and protect those who trample these basic human rights of the people under their boots. Thousands of enforced or involuntary disappearances, thousands of extra judicial executions, scores of incidents of rape and molestation of women, torture during custody, depriving the liberty of people on flimsy excuses day in and day out are used as a weapon to continue the hold on the territory and people against their will. Presence of mass graves at various locations in Kashmir valley stands witness to extra judicial executions of innocent at wholesale level. Even the rights to protest have been snatched away from the people.
With every passing season the abuse of human rights in Kashmir touches fresh heights. In the recent five months people’s uprising for the achievement of their right to self-determination as provided in the UN charter and the resolutions of UN Security Council on Kashmir, more than 120 persons fell to the brutal violence of government forces. About 20,000 people were injured, hundreds of them by pellet fires in which scores of the youth got pellets in their eyes thus lost their eye sight forever. Thousands of people of all ages from 13 to 80 years of age were incarcerated and most of these still languish in jails and detention centers. All the prominent leaders of resistance movement including were either jailed or put under house arrest.
The present phase of the unceasing and unprecedented uprising of the people in Kashmir has been going on for over five months. Now a sense of extreme urgency has built up due to the inexplicable lack of response from the international community to this explosive human tragedy. The human rights defenders and the international community seems to be indifferent and acting as a mute spectator. Is it awaiting some even more massive human tragedy to unfold in Kashmir.
This year UN has declared “stand up for someone’s rights today” as the theme for the year, Let us hope that the cries of the people of Kashmir reach the human rights defenders. Let somebody stand for the protection of the basic human rights of Kashmiries who are engaged in a struggle for the achievement of their basic right to self-determination and for this reason have become the victims of brutality at the hands of the Indian state apparatus.
On December, 10th when the whole world reiterates its commitment to promote and protect the human rights of the people of world, the people of Jammu and Kashmir once again try to rekindle their dimming hope in the universal declaration of Human Rights and expect from UN that their right to be heard will also be recognized and they too will be counted as a people among the ‘peoples of world’
Syed Ali Shah Geelani Mirwaiz Mohammad Umar Farooq Mohammad Yaseen Malik
Human Rights Day video speech on Kashmir
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”.