The ICJ today joined other NGOs in drawing the attention of the UN Human Rights Council to extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances in Kashmir.
The statement, delivered by International Federation for Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) on behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists, and World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), read as follows:
“We look forward to the publication of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ second-ever report on the grave human rights violations and abuses committed in Kashmir.
In Indian Administered Kashmir, government forces have been responsible for serious violations, including unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and rape and other sexual violence. These grave violations by security forces in Kashmir are met with chronic impunity, as alleged perpetrators are rarely properly prosecuted for human rights violations, leading to near-total immunity for the crimes committed. Non-state armed groups have also been responsible for serious abuses, including attacks against journalists.
In Pakistani Administered Kashmir, there have been reports of unlawful restrictions on freedom of expression and association, as well as the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation against protesters.
We are gravely concerned by the increasing threats faced by, and reprisals against, human rights defenders and others who have cooperated with UN human rights mechanisms in recent years, particularly in the elaboration of the OHCHR’s reports. We urge the Government of India to ensure that human rights defenders and journalists are allowed to carry out their work without threats or reprisals, and take adequate steps to protect them from non-state groups.
We also remain concerned that the Governments of India and Pakistan continue to deny access to OHCHR and other human rights mechanisms to Kashmir. We call on them to grant unconditional access to these mechanisms, as well as to human rights organizations and the media.
We also call on the Council to act on the call to establish a commission of inquiry.”