HRC49 Oral Statement on Item 2: General Debate on the Oral Update by the High Commissioner
10 March 2022 4:46 pm
49th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council
Item 2: General Debate on the Oral Update by the High Commissioner
Delivered by Ahmed Adam
On behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
8 March 2022
Mr. President, Madam High Commissioner,
We remain concerned at the deepening human rights crisis in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
The alarming trend of intimidation, harassment, surveillance and criminalisation of human rights defenders, journalists, civil society and media in Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian authorities continues to escalate. Indian national security and anti-terrorism agencies regularly target human rights defenders and civil society in clear and systematic attempts to silence their legitimate work and prevent international scrutiny of the situation in the region.
The arrest and detention on 22 November 2021 of prominent human rights defender Khurram Parvez by the National Investigation Agency under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and sedition charges is emblematic of the threats against human rights defenders in Jammu and Kashmir.
We call on India to immediately and unconditionally release Khurram Parvez and other political prisoners, to end the targeted harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders and journalists, and to repeal the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
We also remain concerned that India and Pakistan continue to deny access to OHCHR and other human rights mechanisms to Kashmir. We call on both governments to grant unconditional access to these mechanisms, as well as to human rights organizations and the media.
We urge the High Commissioner to continue to monitor and regularly report to the Council on the situation in Kashmir.
It is time for the Council to end its silence on the grave human rights situation in Kashmir.
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