Journalists and rights activist walk on razor's edge in Kashmir: Wani


Geneva . 17 March

Geneva, Mar 18: Expressing serious concern over continued acts of intimidation and reprisal against journalists and human rights defenders, APHC leader Altaf Hussain Wani has said that journalists working in the UN disputed territory of Kashmir have always been at the receiving end.

"Journalists walk on razorís edge in Indian occupied Kashmir while covering daily events. They are often subjected to torture and detained arbitrarily by occupation forces", Wani made these remarks while taking part in the debate held under agenda item 5 of the 34th Session of United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Wani told the international audience that human rights defenders and journalists who do not toe Government policy in Indian occupied Kashmir were facing severe hardships as government agencies continue to intimidate and harass them on one pretext or the other. "Local human rights activists are summoned to police stations, questioned for their work and forced to put forward the view point of the occupation authority", he said adding that noted rights activists Kharrum Parvez was not allowed to attend the 33rd session of this UNHRC who was later arrested under the draconian Public Safety Act.

Wani pointed out that preventive detention laws as well as sections in the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code that allow for preventive detention are applied arbitrarily to harass, intimidate, or obstruct peaceful protests by rights defenders.

He observed that government of Indiaís blunt refusal to allow OHCHR fact-finding mission to Indian-occupied Kashmir and its unwillingness to facilitate the country visits of Working Group on Enforced Disappearance, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Special Rappoteur on Torture, and its reluctance to implement the recommendations of Special Rappoteurs peak volumes of Indian arrogant and aggressive attitude toward UN Human Rights systems.

Posted on Mar 19, 17 | 2:50 am