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HRC 43 Oral Statement on Item 2: General Debate on Reports and Updates of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

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43rd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 2: General Debate on Reports and Updates of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

Oral Statement Delivered by Ahmed Adam
On behalf of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Friday, 28 February 2020

Madam President, we share the High Commissioner’s concerns about the ongoing human rights crisis in Kashmir. We regret that the Council has yet to follow up on her recommendation to establish a Commission of Inquiry. We call on India to fully restore fundamental freedoms, as well as the Internet and telecommunication services that remain severely curtailed since August. We call on India to release all human rights defenders, including human rights lawyer, Miyan Abdul Qayoom, who remain arbitrarily detained in Jammu and Kashmir. We urge the High Commissioner to continue regular monitoring and reporting on the situation in Kashmir and call on India and Pakistan to allow her office unfettered access to both sides of the Line of Control.

We are alarmed by violence and deaths in the nationwide protests in India against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), including the riots in Delhi this week, which have killed at least 34 people. We are particularly concerned at the complicity of police in violence against protestors. We call on India to ensure the right to peaceful assembly, and to hold those who instigate violence or use excessive force against peaceful protestors accountable. We call on India to review the CAA in line with its own Constitution and international law.

We echo the High Commissioner’s concerns about violence and discrimination against religious minorities in Pakistan. We condemn the recent death sentence against Junaid Hafeez for allegedly violating the draconian blasphemy law and call for his immediate release. We call on Pakistan to repeal the blasphemy law and take urgent steps to end persecution of religious minorities.

Thank you.

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For a PDF version of this statement, click here