Urgent resolution on the situation in Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir since 5 august 2019

18/11/2019
Statement
en fr

FIDH, meeting on the occasion of its 40th Congress in Taipei, Taiwan

Deeply concerned by the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir since 5 August 2019 and the ongoing communications blockade and severe restrictions of freedom of expression and assembly in the former Indian State;

Deeply concerned about reports of arrests and detention of many civil society representatives, political leaders, union activists, lawyers and journalists without charge under the draconian 1978 Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) and that some of them have been transferred to jails outside of Jammu & Kashmir due to overcrowding in district jails since 5 August 2019, noting that PSA charges against a number of accused have been dropped and that over 250 writs of habeas corpus have been filed since 5 August 2019;

Notes that the Indian Supreme Court has received a report from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, which said that 144 children under 18 years of age were briefly detained by police between 5 August and 23 September 2019;

Deeply concerned about reports of torture and deaths in custody at the hands of Indian authorities, as well as the reported use of excessive force by the local police and armed forces, including the continued use of pellet guns as a crowd control measure;

Recalling that serious human rights violations have been occurring in both Pakistani and Indian-administered Kashmir for decades, including violations of freedom of expression, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and torture;

Notes that civic space in both Pakistan and India is continually shrinking and that human rights defenders, journalists, and civil society organizations are increasingly at risk of reprisals by the authorities;

Concerned that both India and Pakistan continue to deny access to the region to the United Nations, international human rights organizations and foreign journalists;

Strongly condemning the recent actions of the Indian authorities, which seem at aimed at limiting freedom of expression and assembly in the midst of drastic measures taken by the authorities to revoke the autonomy of the now former State of Jammu & Kashmir and bifurcate the State into two Union Territories;

Calls on the Indian authorities to:

• Immediately end the communications blockade in the former State of Jammu & Kashmir and ensure that residents are able to freely exercise their fundamental rights to freedom of opinion and expression - including freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and freedom of movement;
• Release all of those detained without charge since 5 August 2019 under the PSA;
• Investigate all allegations of torture and deaths in custody, and the excessive use of force by the authorities during protests held in the State since 5 August 2019;

Calls on the Supreme Court of India to:

• Begin holding hearings at the earliest possible date in all pending matters related to Jammu & Kashmir;

Calls on the National Human Rights Committee to:
• Respond to and investigate pending complaints related to Jammu & Kashmir;

Urges the Indian and Pakistani authorities to:
• Allow prompt and unfettered access to both sides of the Line of Control to the United Nations, international human rights organizations and international media seeking to monitor and document human rights abuses in Kashmir;

Calls on the members and observers of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) to sponsor a resolution:
• Mandating the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to continue monitoring and to provide regular reports on the human rights situation in Jammu & Kashmir;
• Calling on India and Pakistan to allow immediate and unfettered access to OHCHR to Kashmir;
• Calling on India and Pakistan to fully cooperate with UN Special Procedures, including by allowing mandate holders to visit Kashmir and implementing the recommendations made thereafter.

Read more
statement