Amnesty International

“Denied” — Amnesty International Report on Kashmir

From Amnesty International: “Denied

AI has just published “Denied: Failures of Accountability for Human Rights Violations by Security Forces Personel in Jammu and Kashmir”. To download click the link above.

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“This report documents obstacles to justice for victims of human rights violations existing in both law and practice in Jammu and Kashmir, and shows how the government’s response to reports of human rights violations has failed to deliver justice for several victims and families. Addressing Jammu and Kashmir’s impunity problem, and indeed India’s attitude towards impunity, is a challenge; but it is essential to ensure justice to victims of human rights violations, and facilitate the healing process for those who have suffered during the course of Jammu and Kashmir’s decades of struggle and alienation.”

The main researcher Christine Mehta was deported from India last year. Read her account “How I was deported from India“. An excerpt:

“In 2014, I was on the cusp of publishing a report on the abuses committed under the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Jammu and Kashmir. Despite the need for reform amongst the ranks, the Indian government remains extremely sensitive to the image of its Army and other security forces. The state terms anyone who raises questions about the conduct of the security forces as “anti-national”.

There had been signs of official unease with my work in Jammu and Kashmir. In early 2013, an officer from the MHA had visited our office after I returned from a trip to the State. He claimed that he needed to conduct a background check because a Pakistani journalist with suspected ties to terrorist groups had listed me as a reference while applying for an Indian visa. I had not been in touch with any Pakistani journalist.

When he discovered that I was a PIO, and that my grandfather had migrated from India to the U.S., he stopped questioning me. He advised me to be wary of what Kashmiris tell me as they “have a special interest” in tarnishing India’s image.

In October 2014, Ananth Guruswamy, then the chief executive of AII, told me that the government had informed him that it would no longer tolerate my research in Jammu and Kashmir. The conversation sparked a discussion about my future in the organisation. “


AI statement/21 July 2010

From Amnesty International: “End Detention of JK Lawyers

“The Jammu and Kashmir state government must immediately end the preventive detention of the leaders of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Amnesty International said today.”

“Mian Abdul Qayoom, the President of the Bar Association and Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, its General Secretary, have been arbitrarily detained under the J&K Public Safety Act (PSA) since 7 July and 18 July 2010 respectively.”

“The vaguely formulated PSA allows for detentions of up to two years without charge or trial on the presumption that future acts harmful to the state may be committed.”

“The detention of the Bar Association leaders appears to be an attempt to stifle legitimate and peaceful protest, as part of the ongoing crackdown by the authorities in parts of Kashmir,” said Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific Director at Amnesty International.”

“The official grounds of detention against Mian Qayoom state that he is being detained for questioning the conduct of government security forces and for his political views.”

“Reports indicate the General Secretary of the Bar Association, Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, is being detained on similar grounds as well as for organizing public rallies seeking the release of Mian Qayoom.”

“The arbitrary use of the PSA to detain government critics is yet another demonstration of why this law must be repealed,” Zarifi said.”

“A number of political leaders have also been recently detained including Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, and his aides Mohammad Ashraf Sahrai, Ayaz Akbar, Mohammad Yousuf Mujahid and Zafar Akbar Bhat. Prominent Kashmiri leaders including Shabbir Shah and Nayeem Ahmed Khan also continue to remain in detention under the PSA.”