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UN Condemns the Holding of G-20 Summit in Kashmir, Calls it “Normalization of Occupation”

On 15th May, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Fernand de Varennes, stated that India is seeking to normalize the “brutal and repressive denial of democratic and other rights of Kashmiri Muslims and minorities” by holding G20 meetings in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Government of India is seeking to normalize what some have described as a military occupation by instrumentalizing a G20 meeting and portray an international ‘seal of approval’,” Varennes said in a statement. The UN expert said that “massive human rights violations” have been reported in Jammu and Kashmir, especially since the abrogation of Kashmir’s nominal autonomy in August of 2019. “These included torture, extrajudicial killings, denial of political participation rights of Kashmiri Muslims and minorities,” he said.

Varennes added that in 2021 he and other independent experts of the UN had expressed grave concerns to the Indian government that the loss of political autonomy and the implementation of new domicile rules in Jammu and Kashmir could alter its demographic composition.

He also added that there have been reports that a “significant number of Hindus” from outside the region moving into the occupied territory has led to “dramatic demographic changes in Jammu and Kashmir to overwhelm native Kashmiris in their own land”. “The G20 is unwittingly providing a veneer of support to a facade of normalcy at a time when massive human rights violations, illegal and arbitrary arrests, political persecutions, restrictions and even suppression of free media and human rights defenders continue to escalate,” the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues concluded.

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