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Pro-freedom group banned by India in Kashmir

On 1st January, India banned a pro-freedom amalgam of organizations, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH), for its advocacy and struggle for Kashmiri right to self-determination.

The amalgam was banned under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which has been systematically used by India to repress Kashmiri calls for self-determination and human rights. 

The leaders of the amalgam are already facing prolonged illegal detentions. Mass arrests and detentions are carried out under a wide variety of vague and overly-broad draconian security laws and powers. These include the Public Safety Act (PSA), the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The banning of pro-freedom political groups, however, is not a new development in Kashmir.

In December, last year, India banned another pro-freedom group, Muslim League, under UAPA. The chairperson of the group has spent more than two decades in prison for his pro-freedom activism. 

In October, the pro-freedom group, Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, was banned similarly. Its leader, Shabir Shah, has also spent more than thirty years in arbitrary detentions for his involvement in the Kashmiri self-determination movement. 

Other banned pro-freedom organizations include Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Dukhtaran-e-Millat. The leadership of both the organizations, the latter being an all-women political group, is also facing prolonged imprisonment.

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