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A call to restore freedom of expression and all civil, political and economic rights of Kashmiris by organisations worldwide (Demo)

The political turmoil in the region since revocation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir is resulting in serious contempt of human dignity.

Indian government’s arbitrary actions in Kashmir including revocation of Article 370 from its constitution, imposing crippling curfew in the valleys, violence against peaceful protesters, arrest of political leaders and snatching people’s rights to freedom of expression and access to information are unacceptable.

The Indian government on August 5, 2019 had revoked Articles 370 and Article 35A from its constitution through a presidential decree, denying the disputed territory’s special status and privileges for the indigenous people and permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir as also guaranteed by several resolutions of UN Security Council.

The Jammu and Kashmir is a hugely militarized zone, where situation has worsened in recent days, where the people are not able to access to telecommunication services leaving eight million people in the lurch of isolation, disconnection from the rest of the world with inability to access emergency services, including healthcare. According to Software Freedom Law Center India, the Indian government suspended telecommunication and the internet services nine times in several districts of Jammu and Kashmir valleys only in the month of August. Whereas since 2012, 180 shutdowns have been reported with the longest shutdown for 133 days in continuity from July 8, 2016 to November 19, 2016 .

Detention and arrests of Kashmiri leaders are arbitrary and are tantamount to restricting their free movement, speech and peaceful right to assembly for their political expression and campaigning.

The signatories below urge the government of India to immediately end arbitrary use of powers against the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to its international human rights obligations under the International Human Rights Law, we urge the Speaker of Lok Sabha, Mr. Om Birla to defend the civil and political rights of Kashmiri people by restoring Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution of India, protect their freedom of expression, right to information, right to peaceful assembly and other political rights and economic rights. We call upon the parliament of the largest democracy in the world to respect human rights norms and the elements of equality and non-discrimination.

We also urge the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi to hear and dispose of the petitions in this regard being filed in the apex court on urgent basis and decide on the merits of constitutional grounds. We are concerned that SCI has resorted to delaying tactics, which is resulting in prolonged miseries for the people in Jammu and Kashmir.

We also call upon the Indian Government to respect the dignity of Kashmiri people and consult with them in any decision pertaining to their future, particularly their right to self-determination as enshrined in Article I of the UN Charter. Furthermore, the UN Security Council has passed several resolutions on solving Kashmir dispute, urging both India and Pakistan to let the Kashmiri people decide about their future.


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