WHO asked to help release Kashmiri prisoners from Indian jails

Islamabad, April 23 : The Legal Forum for Oppressed Voices of Kashmir (LFOVK) has sought the urgent intervention of the Director General of Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to put pressure on India to release all illegally detained Kashmiri political leaders and activists.

The LFOVK in a letter addressed to the WHO Director General called for immediate action to address the plight of the Kashmiri political prisoners languishing in various jails of India amid the COVID-19 Tsunami which has shaken India.

In the letter, the LFOVK requested his immediate intervention to release these political prisoners who have been jailed just for seeking UN-guaranteed right to self-determination in at least 15 resolutions passed by the UNGA and UNSC since 1948.

It said, it has now been twenty months since India ordered a military siege and annexed the IIOJK by unilaterally revoking the special status of Kashmir. The military establishment of India has responded with an increasingly brutal crackdown defined by some of the worst human rights violations including unlawful and arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, and extrajudicial killings. This includes the bloodiest cordon and search operations (CASOs). Kashmir’s healthcare workers and journalists, in particular, have been systematically targeted by the occupying army, it added.

The LFOVK said, the Indian military’s CASOs are also generating a public health crisis with regional and international impact. By launching military operations and by persecuting civilian population, the Indian military has critically impeded Kashmir’s normal health care system – including its COVID-19 testing, treatment, and immunization efforts. The most pressing need right now is protection of Kashmiri political prisoners who have been lodged in different jails across India, it maintained.

It said, “We urge your office and other humanitarian organizations to immediately launch a global effort to offer additional protection, support, and services to Kashmiri political prisoners.”

The LFOVK said, since Kashmir is a cold-to-medium-weather region, the incarceration of Kashmiri political prisoners in India makes it doubly difficult for them to be jailed at one place in hot temperatures.

It said, now, India is caught in a massive spike of coronavirus with close to 300,000 cases and more than 2,000 casualties every day. It has put at risk lives of Kashmiri political prisoners who have no criminal cases against them but have been denied basic/fundamental rights because they advocate fulfillment of UN-guaranteed right to self-determination for the Kashmiris, it deplored.

The illegally detained Hurriyat leaders and activists languishing in different jails of India and IIOJK included Muhammad Yasin Malik, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Masarrat Aalam Butt, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Peer Saifullah, Raja Marajuddin Kalwal, Ghulam Muhammad Butt, Ayaz Akbar, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Shahid-ul-Islam, Dr Muhammad Qasim Fakhtoo, Zahoor Ahmed Watali, Syed Shahid Yousuf and Syed Shakeel Yousuf.

As per KMS report in addition to above thousands including Dr Abdul Hameed Fayaz , Syeda Asiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi, Nahida Nasreen, Shazia Akhter, Haseena BegumFarooq Ahmad Tawheedi, Ameer Hamza ,Imtiyaz Haider,Hayat Ahmad Bhat, Muhammad Yousuf Mir, Muhammad Yosuf Falahi, Muhammad Rafiq Ganai, Shafi Shariati, Advocate Zahid Ali, and journalist Asif Sultan are also languishing in different jails of IIOJK and in India

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