KSN letter to UN Special Representative

April 15, 2011

Margot Wallstrom,

UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict

cc.UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon (by mail)

Dr. Navanetham Pillay, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights

Ms. Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, its causes and consequences.

Dear Ms. Wallstrom,

We are writing to you with grave concern regarding your remarks on Kashmir as reported in sections of the Indian press. According to a report published in the Calcutta News (http://www.calcuttanews.net/story/765726/ht/No-reports-of-sexual-violence-by-Indian-troops-in-Kashmir-UN), you are quoted as having said that “’So far, we do not have proper reports about this….so far, we have not received any proper reporting on such cases….I can’t say that there was anything in particular (about Kashmir).”

Contrary to your reported words, human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, Amnesty International and Medecins sans Frontieres have consistently recorded the use of rape and sexual violence against Kashmiri women by Indian forces as a deliberate strategy in counterinsurgency since 1989.

If your statements are reported correctly, they display a shocking lack of knowledge of the facts. Further, your willingness to make public statements on the matter despite the lack of knowledge discredits your office and the United Nations. Your reported remarks provide political cover and support to the Indian government which has engaged in a military reign of terror against the civilian population of Kashmir since 1989.

Given the gravity of the situation, we sincerely call upon you to clarify and correct your remarks. We urgently ask you to acquaint yourself with the full range and scope of sexual violence and torture by Indian forces against Kashmiri women and men, and to take concrete steps to support the victims and bring the perpetrators to justice. We are providing as evidence links to online copies of some of human rights reports.

Kashmir Solidarity Network seeks to generate wider public interest in Kashmir, and help develop an educated and informed solidarity for the people of Kashmir across the world. 

We look forward to your response.

Kashmir Solidarity Network

_______________________________________________________________

Reports

Amnesty International 1991 India: Rape and Ill-treatment of Women in Kashmir: Zarifa Bano, Bakhti, and many others (the Kunan-Poshpura incident)

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA20/010/1991/en/256dbe4d-ee56-11dd-9381-bdd29f83d3a8/asa200101991en.html

Amnesty International 1993 India: Reports of Rape in 1993

http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=7BC6BB3C1946833B802569A6006048D7

Human Rights Watch and Physicians for Human Rights 1993 Rape in Kashmir. A Crime of War

http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/1993/05/01/rape-kashmir

Human Rights Watch 1996 India’s Secret Army in Kashmir. New Patterns of Abuse Emerge in the Conflict

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/1996/India2.htm

Human Rights Watch 1999 Behind the Kashmir Conflict. Abuses by Indian security forces and militant groups continue

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/1999/kashmir/

Medecins sans Frontiers 2006 Kashmir:Violence and Health

http://www.artsenzondergrenzen.nl/pdf/KASHMIRFINALVERSION221106.pdf

United Nations Human Rights Commission 2003 Integration of the Human Rights of Women and the Gender Perspective:Violence Against Women

http://www.unhchr.ch/Huridocda/Huridoca.nsf/0/3ab4d356d165f1b4c1256ce1003c048a/$FILE/G0310400.pdf

United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences 200-2004 Annual Report. Communications to and from governments

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/women/rapporteur/annual.htm

Report of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Margaret Sekaggya 2011

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/defenders/docs/A.HRC.16.44.Add.1_EFSonly.pdf

Video links



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One comment

  1. i really appreciate the efforts put in by Kashmir Solidarity Network to aware the real situation prevailing in the kashmir. You guys are doing great the kind of approach and methodology that this network works on will surely reap results, for sure……………..

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