Kashmiri people have been fighting for their right to self-determination since India occupied their land in 1947: Geelani

SRINAGAR, Dec 10 (SABAH): Former Chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G) and Senior Hurriyat Leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has said that there December 10 is here again. Although this day is observed as the International Human Rights Day according to the United Nations calendar, but the ground reality and the bitter truth is that the United Nations and the international community have never been able to stop the violations of human rights of certain people. He said that Kashmir is a glaring example. 

In a statement issued on Thursday, Syed Ali Geelani said that the history of Kashmiri people’s suffering is as old as the history of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly. Kashmiri people have been fighting for their right to self-determination since India occupied their land in 1947. He said that for all these years India has maintained its control on the region through repression, institutionalised discrimination and systematic abuse of Kashmiri people’s rights. But the international community always chose to neglect the unabated continuation of Kashmiri people’s plight. 

Syed Ali Shah Geelani said that even in 2019, when in an act of naked aggression and blatant violation of international laws and several international and regional instruments, India took the ultimate step of annexing Kashmir; the international community largely remained a mute spectator. It has been more than a year since and the situation hasn’t changed. In fact, it has worsened even further. As the world celebrates another International Human Rights Day and calls for the promotion and protection of human rights grow louder we would like to remind the international community that the state of siege India impose in Kashmir on August 5, 2019 hasn’t ended. It is being tightened with every passing day.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani said that Kashmiri people remain stripped of their human rights, fundamental freedoms and liberties. A permanent state of fear, terror and uncertainty continues to grip the region as Indian authorities go about implementing their sinister plans by enacting draconian and arbitrary laws aimed at changing the demography of the region. Constant and surreptitious surveillance on the other hand is being used to sustain the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty so that people remain silent. Local media continues to be gagged and journalists are forced to get their stories pre-approved to ensure that nothing contradicting the official narrative gets published. Newspapers are often forced to fill their pages with the content provided by the authorities. Reporters and publishers resisting this are either arrested or harassed and intimidated into submission.

He said that thousands of Kashmiris continue to languish in Indian prisons, mostly without trial and without access to even basic amenities. The hostile behavior of prison authorities and local inmates puts their lives in jails under constant threat while a hostile judiciary outside the jail significantly shrinks their chances of ever getting justice.

“We would also like to remind the international community that despite all the atrocities, human rights abuses and control tactics India has not been able to break the resolve of Kashmiri people and we remain firm in our determination to continue our struggle for the right to self-determination and take it to its logical end. For us, the International Human Rights Day is a soothing reminder that our struggle against Indian occupation and for the right to self-determination is a just and sacred one and it must go on whatever the cost. But as the world leaders preach the importae of human rights on this day they must also look within and ask themselves how far their own double standards and criminal silence on matters like Kashmir is responsible for the UDHR not realizing its objectives even after 7 decades of adoption” Syed Ali Shah Geelani said.

“They must understand that their silence in the face of such atrocities and abuses amounts to complicity provides legitimacy to abusive states like India and Israel and encourages them to continue with their despicable behaviour with impunity” Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

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