London 4th February 2019: The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), on the invitation of the All Parties Parliamentary Group (APPG), participated in the International Kashmir Conference held at the British Parliament in London on 4th February 2019. The Conference was organized by a cross party group of British Parliamentarians to commemorate the Kashmir Solidarity Day, which was attended by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, the President of the State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Former Prime Minister of Norway, former Vice Chair of the OIC-IPHRC, Kashmiri leaders, academics and representatives of media and civil society.
Prof. Dr. Raihanah Binti Abdullah, in her capacity as the Coordinator of the OIC-IPHRC’s ‘Standing Mechanism for monitoring the human rights situation in IoK’, delivered a keynote address in the meeting. She categorically condemned the ongoing gross human rights violations against innocent Kashmiris in IoK, which include systematic ethnic cleansing and genocide, enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings, mass blinding through pellet guns as well as use of rape and molestation of women as a method of collective punishment to quell Kashmiris’ legitimate and well recognized right to self-determination. She highlighted that the OIC-IPHRC in its detailed fact-finding report of 2017 concluded that there is substantial circumstantial evidence to support the allegations of indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force by the Indian occupation forces committing violations of human rights such as the right to life, right to freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of peaceful assembly and association of the Kashmiri people, guaranteed by international human rights law. These findings of IPHRC’s report were corroborated by the report of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published in June 2018.
The Conference unanimously: (a) endorsed the UN OHCHR call for establishing a Commission of Inquiry under UN auspices to comprehensively investigate the allegations of human rights violations, a recommendation, which is fully supported by the OIC-IPHRC; (b) urged the Indian Government to put an immediate end to the on-going human rights violations in the IoK and repeal its discriminatory laws, which contravene international human rights laws and standards like Armed Forces Special Power Act as well as to allow fact finding visits of the OHCHR, OIC-IPHRC and other human rights bodies; and (c) urged the international community to resort to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions regime to pressurize the Indian Government to comply with her international human rights obligations.
A Resolution tabled by the British Parliamentarians and endorsed by the participants was also adopted by the Conference, which called for an immediate end to the continuing human rights violations in IoK and the need for implementing relevant UN resolutions to allow people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their inherent and inalienable right to self-determination in a free and fair plebiscite under the UN auspices.