Press Release : Dictators are criticized but those hiding behind the veil of democracy go scot-free: Wani

Geneva, Sep 28: Leader of All Parties Hurriyat Conference Altaf Hussain Wani has said that authoritarian regimes were being heavily criticized for perpetuating human rights violations but governments hiding behind the veil of democracy were rarely held accountable for committing gross human rights violations.

Wani made these assertions while speaking on behalf of world Muslim Congress Wani during general debate held under agenda item 8 at the UNHRC session in Geneva on Monday. In a clear reference to India the APHC leader said, "In our “civilized” world, dictatorships and authoritarian regimes are rightly attacked for perpetuating massive human rights violations. But democratic governments rarely get a stick for carrying out extra-judicial killings, torturing dissidents or subjecting masses to enforced disappearances and prolonged detentions, or suppressing protests by violent means".

He state that on the International Day of Democracy, UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon exhorted the world to uphold “democracy and dignity for all". "The promise of democracy, however, sounds like a cruel joke in Indian Occupied Kashmir, where 96 people have been killed and more than 13,000 have been injured by Indian military and paramilitary forces", the APHC leader said.

Kashmiris he said have been living under a blanket of fear, a clampdown on human movement enforced by an unending military curfew. "People there (Kashmir) now hang thick tarpaulin sheets and rugs over their windows, lest the windowpanes are smashed by Indian troops hurling stones and swinging gunstocks", he said adding that nocturnal police raids to arrest protestors have become routine and if a community resists the arrests of its youth, "collective punishment is instantly meted out by India’s shock troopers and pellets and bullets rain down to force the protesting Kashmiri people into silence".

He said that it was quite unfortunate that thousands of pro-freedom rallies held in length and breadth of Kashmir since the land and its people fell under Indian control in 1947 were never counted as the exercise of democratic will by Kashmiris.

"The repeated and peaceful processions against Indian occupation , which have often involved a sea of people numbering anywhere between four hundred thousand and a million people do not seem to count either as democratic expression", he said.

Wani said that it was high time for international community to make India accountable for its crime in Kashmir and help people to Kashmirto exercise their right to self-determination.

Posted on Sep 29, 16 | 9:54 am