OIC Condemns the Detention of Kashmiri Human Rights Defenders in India

Jeddah, MINA – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Permanent Independent Commission on Human Rights strongly condemns the prolonged illegal and inhuman detention of Ms. Asiya Andrabi and two of her female colleagues in India’s Tihar Prison, for fabricated and baseless accusations, in under the controversial Unlawful Activity Prevention (UAPA) Act.

The OIC News Agency reported on Wednesday that Andrabi and her colleagues, like other political prisoners from occupied Jammu and Kashmir were held without access to a free and fair trial and subjected to physical and psychological torture.

In addition, they are denied critical medical care that endangers their lives, contrary to international human rights and humanitarian law.

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Andrabi is the founder of one of the most influential women’s rights organizations in Jammu and Kashmir and widely respected as a voice of reason with concrete contributions to women’s empowerment in the region.

“Despite her advancing age, deteriorating health conditions and the increasingly severe threat of Covid-19, she is being held on false charges without due process, which is very concerning,” the commission explained in a written statement.

The Jeddah-based commission reiterates its strong concern over the increasing incidents of illegal detention of human rights and political activists as well as members of civil society and the media by Indian security forces under laws accused of being abusive such as the Armed Special Forces Force (AFSPA) Act, Public Security Law (PSA) and UAPA.

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The commission in its March 2017 report on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir emphatically states that this law is a source of impunity used by Indian security forces to commit blatant human rights violations against innocent Kashmiri people in order to silence their vote for their inalienable right to self-determination.

The Commission urges the United Nations, OIC Member States and the international human rights community to pressure the Indian government to:

(a) release Ms. Andrabi and his colleagues as well as all other political prisoners detained under the AFSPA, PSA and UAPA Laws and granting them access to free and fair trials; (b) repeal the discriminatory laws, which are incompatible with human rights standards and restore all fundamental freedoms of the Kashmiri people; (c) immediately stop gross and systematic human rights violations; (d) provide access to UN / OIC fact-finding missions and cooperate in the creation of a Commission of Inquiry under the auspices of the United Nations, and (e) implement UN Security Council and OIC resolutions that allow Kashmiris to exercise their legitimate right to self-determination. (T/RE1)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)