Jeddah 4th September 2019: The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is appalled by the continuation of stifling inhuman security blockade/curfew and communication blackout imposed by Indian security forces since 5th August 2019 with no letting up in sight despite widespread international condemnation. The entire Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) is turned into the world’s largest prison with severe human rights and humanitarian repercussions on the innocent Kashmiri population.
Despite this iron curtain blockade, there are credible media reports confirming that over 5000, mostly young Kashmiris, have been illegally detained by the security forces, entire political leadership is incarcerated without any legal recourse, and journalists and human rights activists are being prosecuted on false charges. The continuation of mass human rights violations by the security forces with impunity under an exclusionary ideology of Hindutva reflects an obvious State bias, which has led to the issuance of genocide alerts by international human rights organizations. These are deplorable and blatant violations of Kashmiris’ fundamental human rights including the right to life, right to freedom of expression, right to peaceful protest and assembly, which are contrary to international human rights law and also violative of India’s commitments/international human rights obligations.
IPHRC welcomes the Press Statement issued by the Special Procedures/Rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Council, which has termed the ongoing ‘blackout as a form of collective punishment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir’ and expressed concerns over the illegal detentions and enforced disappearances of young protestors and use of excessive force including live ammunition to disperse the protests. There are similar pronouncements from human rights defenders all over the world, including from within India denouncing the undemocratic and illegal Indian actions, which are arbitrary and inconsistent with international human rights law. IPHRC shares these grave concerns and supports the recommendation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish a Commission of Inquiry under the UN auspices to comprehensively investigate all the allegations of human rights violations.
The Commission also welcomes and echoes the call made by the OIC to the Government of India to immediately lift the curfew and communication blackout in IOK and restore fundamental freedoms and civil liberties of the Kashmiris. It also urged the Indian Government to grant access to the UN and OIC fact-finding missions to visit the IoK to independently and objectively ascertain the human rights situation on the ground.