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India: Unlawful and illegal arrest of Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez - Statement by PIPFPD 16 Sept 2016

16 September 2016

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Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD)

Press Statement - September 16, 2016

PIPFPD strongly criticizes the unlawful and illegal arrest of Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez (39) late Thursday night and demands his immediate and unconditional release. The Forum also condemns the Indian government’s action at the Delhi airport on Wednesday, harassing Khurram Parvez, detaining him and not allowing him to travel to Geneva to attend the ongoing UN Human Rights Council. J&K police have arrested Khurram from his home in Srinagar.

Khurram, is program coordinator of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and chairperson of the Asian Federation Against involuntary Disappearances (AFAD). The officials at the airport informally told Khurram that they have been instructed not to allow him to leave. In fact, the Immigration officer had even stamped his boarding pass but subsequently disallowed him to board the flight.

Khurram’s arrest reveals the brutal face of the Indian government in Kashmir and is part of a pattern of persecuting voices speaking against oppression and human rights violations, which the government wishes to keep under the wraps. The action also reveals that the government does not believe in dialogue and peaceful resolution but in undemocratically crushing Kashmiris and dealing with them through military action and harassing tactics.

Denying Khurram the right to travel is equally shocking. Narendra Modi led Indian government is trying to scuttle travel rights of people who are critical of the NDA government. Earlier in January 2015 Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai was stopped from flying to London. She was to make a presentation on the human rights violations in Mahan, Madhya Pradesh. Subsequently, she challenged the decision in the Delhi High Court and won the case. Delhi High Court criticized the government for exceeding its authority.

Khurram is prevented from and arrested for highlighting human rights violations in Jammu & Kashmir.

PIPFPD is of the opinion that this act clearly indicates the crackdown on the civil society of Kashmir valley. We demand that he should be immediately released and allowed to go to Geneva. India is a democratic country and voices of dissent are very critical to the survival of its democracy.

For further details contact: pipfpd.india at | 09869077718