On 22nd March, a freelance journalist, Irfan Mehraj, in Indian-occupied Kashmir was arrested by the…
On anniversary of Khurram Parvez’s illegal detention, human rights organizations express strong condemnation
On November 22nd, Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez completed a year in illegal Indian detention. On November 22, 2021, India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), raided Parvez’s home and office for approximately 14 hours, seizing his and his family members’ laptop, mobile phone, and books. Khurram Parvez was charged under the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), India’s abusive counterterrorism law, which makes release on bail difficult and has been regularly used against Kashmiri Muslims to quell all political dissent.
Four human rights organisations: World Organisation Against Torture, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances, Forum-Asia, and CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, collectively submitted a petition on 22nd November to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention for issuance of a ruling on the illegality of Khurram’s arbitrary detention, and to demand for his immediate release. The human rights organizations also voiced the fear that Khurram Parvez faces the possibility of a life imprisonment or a death penalty for his legitimate human rights activism.
On his imprisonment anniversary, twelve other prominent human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also jointly raised their voice for immediate and unconditional release of Khurram Parvez. They demanded that “Indian authorities must release Parvez immediately and unconditionally, and all charges against him must be dropped, as they are a reprisal for his peaceful human rights work”. The United Nations also issued an official statement declaring that they are “dismayed at the continued deprivation of liberty of Mr. Parvez, in what is increasingly proving to be an act of retaliation against a human rights defender for his tireless work documenting and reporting serious human rights violations.”
Khurram Parvez’s detention was also condemned by the UN a week ago when India’s human rights record came under scrutiny in the context of its Universal Periodic Review.