Tag Archives: Kashmir human rights

Parveena Ahangar rejects CNN-IBN’s nomination for ‘Indian of the Year 2011’

This press release has been issued by the PARVEENA AHANGAR-led ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS FOR DISAPPEARED PERSONS

Srinagar, December 10, 2011:  On this ‘International Human Rights Day’, December 10, 2011, the APDP (Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons), Srinagar, wishes to state that there is something obscene and perverse in the manner the CNN-IBN has nominated our organization for the ‘Indian of the Year 2011’ award. Sometimes, human rights can be violated by merely mocking those who struggle for human rights. Continue reading Parveena Ahangar rejects CNN-IBN’s nomination for ‘Indian of the Year 2011’

An open letter from a photojournalist assaulted by Indian security forces in Kashmir: Yawar Kabli

Guest post by YAWAR KABLI

AP photo by Yasin Dar: Local Kashmiri photographers Yawar Nazir, left, and Showket Shafi wait for treatment after they said they were assaulted by police and paramilitary forces during a protest in Srinagar, India, on Nov. 25. At least four journalists said they were assaulted by police and paramilitary forces Friday as they covered a protest in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

All freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of India are being violated or altogether thrown away by the Jammu and Kashmir Police. One could substantiate that with any number of examples. We were not the first pressmen to be thrashed by the police while covering the stone-hurling protests in the Kashmir. On Friday, 25 November 2011, without any rhyme or reason policemen along with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) thrashed four of us, including me, and snatched away our expensive cameras. They did not even hesitate to bundle us into police vehicles while taking us to the Khanyar police station.

Continue reading An open letter from a photojournalist assaulted by Indian security forces in Kashmir: Yawar Kabli

Uthao, uthao video ab, won’t you make the video now?

This photograph shows photojournalist Shahid Tantray being assaulted by the Central Reserve Police Force in Srinagar on 25 November 2011

No tears will be shed for press freedom for attacks on journalists in Srinagar by the Central Reserve Police Force and the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Fahad Shah reports what happened in Srinagar yesterday:

Journalists were beaten up and one of them detained, today, when they were covering the post-Friday prayers protests in the Old City, here at Srinagar. Umar Mehraj, who works as video journalist for Associated Press says he, along with other journalists, was covering protests when Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and local policemen start beating. He said while beating, the forces were shouting, “Uthao, uthao video ab (Shoot, shoot the video now.).” Umar says his camera was broken and they were abused too.

Continue reading Uthao, uthao video ab, won’t you make the video now?

Kashmir’s Horcrux: Sameer Bhat

Guest post by SAMEER BHAT

Hectic parleys are on at the moment to jettison the dreaded AFSPA in the valley. By conservative estimates the army must have beaten about one in every five Kashmiris at one point or the other since this piece of horrible legislation was slapped on us. An unjust law, is no law at all, Martin Luther, the symbol of protestant reformation, verbalized the sentiment of St Augustine in the 15th century. Rings true to this day.

For more than twenty years people have been punched, thrown in the back of military trucks, knocked down by gun-butts, given kicks, pushed around as they got off a bus or simply slapped around for no apparent reason. Just for being themselves, perhaps. No you could not question the moral turpitude of a military-walla from Madras if he clubbed your aging father.  Continue reading Kashmir’s Horcrux: Sameer Bhat

A prologue to memory: Arif Ayaz Parrey

Guest post by ARIF AYAZ PARREY

Over the corner shop at the busy crossing near home hangs a white board on which the words ‘Muzaffar Pan-House’ are painted in bright red. On the right side of the words, an artistic rendition of the side-view of Muzaffar’s face can be seen. His left hand is also painted in, holding a cigarette. The grey smoke emanating from the cigarette does not vanish before it touches the top of the board.
Continue reading A prologue to memory: Arif Ayaz Parrey

AFSPA in Kashmir – “Armed Forces’ Say Prevails Anyway”: Gowhar Geelani

Guest post by GOWHAR GEELANI

There is a lot of noise in the media over AFSPA. Ask any senior Indian security official, a turn-coat politician or a retired Army General what AFSPA stands for. “Armed Forces Special Powers Act,” they will say. Now pose the same query to an ordinary Kashmiri living there in the hapless Vale for the past two decades. The answer perhaps would be: “Armed Forces’ Say Prevails Anyway”. Continue reading AFSPA in Kashmir – “Armed Forces’ Say Prevails Anyway”: Gowhar Geelani

End the culture of impunity, not just AFSPA: APDP

This is a press release from the ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISAPPEARED PERSONS

The Bund Amira Kadal, Srinagar – 190001, Jammu and Kashmir
28th October 2011

APDP feels that the recent announcement by the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on the partial revocation of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from some areas of Jammu and Kashmir would be insignificant for improving the human rights situation and also for providing justice to those affected by the mindless violence by armed forces.
Continue reading End the culture of impunity, not just AFSPA: APDP

Lies about sanctions under AFSPA: JKCCS

This press statement was issued by the JAMMU AND KASHMIR COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY on 19 October 2011 
 
Over the last 22 years in Jammu and Kashmir, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Cr.P.C. 197 has provided absolute legal impunity to the armed forces and the Jammu and Kashmir Police.
The Government of India claims that despite the imposition of AFSPA, mechanisms of justice are functional and deliver whenever anyone is found indulging in human rights abuses, but facts provided by the state institutions contradict the claim of the Indian state. Continue reading Lies about sanctions under AFSPA: JKCCS

Thinking Truth and Reconciliation in Kashmir: Shuja Malik

Guest post by SHUJA MALIK

“Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)” is a recent addition in the lexicon of the Kashmir conflict/dispute. IT gained currency after recent confirmation of reports about presence of unmarked, unidentified and mass graves in Kashmir. The idea of a TRC for Kashmir raises questions about its relevance and context, especially unidentified graves and enforced disappearances.

Truth and reconciliation commissions have been established in the past with varied powers and purposes, usually at points where the parties involved are ‘emerging out of conflict’ or are at ‘transitional stage’, and after modalities have been established for conflict resolution.

Continue reading Thinking Truth and Reconciliation in Kashmir: Shuja Malik

David Barsamian’s Deportation: Statement of Protest

STATEMENT OF PROTEST

We write to protest the denial of entry to David Barsamian by Immigration Authorities at the New Delhi airport in the early hours of September 23, 2011, and we write to draw attention to the growing arbitrariness of the Indian Government in dealing with dissent of any kind.

David Barsamian is a veteran broadcaster, and founder and director of Alternative Radio, a weekly one-hour public affairs program offered free to all public radio stations in the US, Canada, Europe and beyond. For more than 25 years Alternative Radio has provided information, analyses and views that are frequently ignored in other media. Structured around intensive interviews conducted by David Barsamian, these programs are carried by over 125 radio stations and heard by millions of listeners. He is the author of numerous books with Edward Said, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy and Tariq Ali.

Continue reading David Barsamian’s Deportation: Statement of Protest

‘This obfuscation amounts to complicity’ – APDP response to Omar Abdullah’s speech on unmarked and mass graves

This release comes from the ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISAPPEARED PERSONS
The Bund Amira Kadal, Srinagar – 190001, Jammu and Kashmir

Press Release:
28th September 2011

Yesterday’s (27th September 2011) statement made by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on unmarked graves and mass graves is hurtful and amounts to trivializing a serious issue of enforced disappearances and unmarked graves. Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) believes that Omar Abdullah’s statement created an impression of him being an advocate of the culpable armed forces personnel as opposed to the representative of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Omar Abdullah has said, “The families would have to help us, indicating in which graveyard they suspect their member could be buried so that we will do the needful.” This is a shameless assertion. How would families know where their loved ones are buried? If the family members of the disappeared had any clue, as to where their family members are buried, then they would have already sought the permission for the exhumations from the District Magistrates. Continue reading ‘This obfuscation amounts to complicity’ – APDP response to Omar Abdullah’s speech on unmarked and mass graves

An open letter from Amnesty International to members of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly

This is a public statement by AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

AI Index: ASA 20/046/2011 26 September 2011

As the session of the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly opens in Srinagar, Amnesty International is writing to all members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) to raise human rights concerns in the house and ensure that such issues are not ignored during the session.

Although there appears to be a consistent decrease in the overall numbers of members of armed groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), human right violations continue to remain a significant and widespread concern in the state.

Amnesty International calls on all MLAs to raise human rights issues during the assembly session and call upon the state government to take immediate action required to remedy the situation. In particular, Amnesty International asks you to raise the specific issues below. While not an exhaustive list of human rights concerns in the state, discussion on these would indicate the commitment to human rights of the state legislative assembly and be an important step towards improving the human rights of all residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

Continue reading An open letter from Amnesty International to members of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly

Unknown and Unmarked Graves of Kashmir: Investigation, Prosecution, and Reparation: IPTK

This release comes from the INTERNATIONAL PEOPLE’S TRIBUNAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE  IN INDIAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR (IPTK)

Srinagar, September 26, 2011

To: Honourable Members
Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly
Government of Jammu and Kashmir

Re.: Unknown and Unmarked Graves of Kashmir: Investigation, Prosecution, and Reparation

We appeal to the Members of the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislative Assembly to address the following urgent issues in light of the findings put forward by the State Human Rights Commission of Jammu and Kashmir (SHRC) pertaining to unknown and unmarked graves. The SHRC investigated unmarked graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, Kupwara, and Handwara districts across 38 graveyards and verified 2,156 unidentified bodies in unidentified graves, as documented in its report of July 2011. Continue reading Unknown and Unmarked Graves of Kashmir: Investigation, Prosecution, and Reparation: IPTK

India deports radio broadcaster David Barsamian upon arrival at Delhi airport

Update: The Press Trust of India confirms the Kashmir angle. See more updates at the end of this post.

David Barsamian

David Barsamian, founder director of Alternative Radio, and independent radio legend, was deported on arrival from New Delhi airport in the early hours of Sept 23. Details are awaited since David is probably still on the plane back. But between his arrival sometime after midnight, and his being “put back” on a flight at 3am, David was able to only make a quick call to his ‘home’ here in Delhi, to the family of his longtime sitar guru, Debu Chaudhuri. Continue reading India deports radio broadcaster David Barsamian upon arrival at Delhi airport

Prominent Indian journalist beaten up by Jammu and Kashmir Police

Is the Jammu and Kashmir Police a private, leaderless, unaccountable militia force that can go about beating up anyone they like in the name of saving Kashmir for India?

Well known Indian author and journalist David Devadas, a fellow with the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in Delhi and author of a book on Kashmir, was beaten up by personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir Police in Srinagar on September 5. Sheela Bhatt reports on Rediff.com:

In a letter written to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Devadas said that on September 5, when he was crossing the Rambagh bridge in his car in evening in heavy traffic, he heard a loud bang at the back of his car. His car was hit by another car. Continue reading Prominent Indian journalist beaten up by Jammu and Kashmir Police

A Response to SHRC’s Report on Unknown and Unmarked Graves of Kashmir: IPTK

This press statement comes from the INTERNATIONAL PEOPLE’S TRIBUNAL ON
HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE IN INDIAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR (IPTK) 
together with the ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISAPPEARED PERSONS

29 August 2011: We welcome the report of the State Human Rights Commission of Jammu and Kashmir (SHRC) on unmarked graves in north Indian-administered Kashmir (dated July 2011 and recently released; download 3.2 MB .pdf here), taking suo moto cognizance of the matter, and appreciate the courage and labour that this work signifies.

The SHRC’s report acknowledges and corroborates the research documented in the report, BURIED EVIDENCE, released by the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice (IPTK) in December 2009. The SHRC investigated unmarked graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, Kupwara, and Handwara districts across 38 graveyards and verified 2156 unidentified bodies in unidentified graves.

Based on investigative research conducted between November 2006-November 2009, BURIED EVIDENCE had documented 2700 unknown, unmarked, and mass graves, containing 2943+ bodies, across 55 villages (in 62 sites within these villages) in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara districts of Kashmir. Of these, 2373 were unidentified and unnamed graves.   Continue reading A Response to SHRC’s Report on Unknown and Unmarked Graves of Kashmir: IPTK

An open letter on the ‘Harud’ literary festival

Srinagar-based photojournalist Showkat Shafi is seen in this photograph being assaulted by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on 19 August 2011. He was carrying out his professional duties, as is clear from the camera in his hand that the police is trying to snatch away. He and his Mexican photographer colleague were detained at the police station and beaten up, allowed to go and be hospitalised only five hours later. The police said they mistook them for stone-pelters. Photo credit: Faisal Khan

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Given below is an open letter signed by fourteen of us. Should you want to add your name to it, please do so in the comments section of this post. I shall update the names of the signatories on the post itself. Please clearly indicate that you want your name added, and write your full name and profession.

Continue reading An open letter on the ‘Harud’ literary festival

Half Widow, Half Wife? Responding to Gendered Violence in Kashmir: APDP

This is a press release from the ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISAPPEARED PERSONS, The Bund Amira Kadal, Srinagar, 190001. It is about a new report, which you can download in .pdf format at the end of this press release.

Srinagar, July 28, 2011 – The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) today released the report Half Widow, Half Wife? Responding to Gendered Violence in Kashmir. It examines the situation of women in Indian-administered Kashmir whose husbands have ‘disappeared,’ but not yet been declared deceased. Members of APDP who are themselves half widows released this report at SK Municipal Park, Srinagar. Continue reading Half Widow, Half Wife? Responding to Gendered Violence in Kashmir: APDP

The question we are not asking about Fai, Tramboo and Shawl

GN Fai

(Please see two updates at the end of this post.)

‘Gotcha!’ That is the sound I hear in the Indian media and amongst patriotic fellow-Indians in response to the arrest of Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, an American citizen of Indian origin, by the Unites States Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Most analyses of the Fai arrest say it’s part of the ongojng tussle between the American CIA and the Pakistani ISI but some in India think it’s part of the American reward to India for opening up its nuclear energy and other markets to American corporations, thus creating jobs for Americans. This may have some truth in it, considering that the Americans asked their ambassador to take a flight to Srinagar four months ago to pat Omar Abdullah on the back for successfully presiding over the killing of 120 Kashmiris the previous summer, and for halting the killings when President Obama was in Delhi, so that the media attention on the President’s visit is not diluted. (And then Americans wonder why ‘Muslims hate us’). Continue reading The question we are not asking about Fai, Tramboo and Shawl

A rape in Kulgam; the dishonouring of India continues

Imagine there had been a rape in Delhi. Imagine the headlines in the papers. They would have been loud and angry. As they are, and as they must be. Do you think any of the papers would have said that the woman in question has ‘accused’ or ‘alleged’ who the perpetrator was? But there has been a rape in Kashmir and your media wants you to know that a woman has ‘accused’ an army jawan of having done so. Journalistic restrain and caution are good things when they are useful. After all, let an inquiry establish this is the truth.

Continue reading A rape in Kulgam; the dishonouring of India continues

JKCCS welcomes Supreme Court order for disbanding SPOs

A press release from the JAMMU AND KASHMIR COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY
8 JULY 2011: Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), welcomes the recent judgment delivered by the Supreme Court of India in which it has struck down as ‘unconstitutional’ the practice of arming local tribal youth of Chattisgarh as Special Police Officers (SPOs) in order to fight the Maoists. It has asked the Chattisgarh state government to:
·         immediately stop using SPOs,
·         recall all firearms distributed to them,
·         desist from funding the recruitment of any other vigilante groups,
·         ensure the filing of FIRs into criminal activities committed by them, and
·         offer protection to those who need Continue reading JKCCS welcomes Supreme Court order for disbanding SPOs