Kashmiris continue to be subjected to police violence in IIOJK: UN rights chief

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet,

GENEVA, Sep 14 (APP): The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has voiced serious concern over the continuing police excesses against civilians in the Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in her report on the human rights situation around the world.

“In Indian-administered Kashmir, incidents of military and police violence against civilians continue, including use of pellet guns, as well as incidents related to militancy,”she said in the report presented to the 45 session of the UN Human Rights Council which opened in Geneva on Monday.

“Major legal changes – including to the Constitution and domicile rules – are generating deep anxiety, but the space for political debate and public participation continues to be severely restricted, particularly since new media rules have prohibited vaguely defined ‘anti-national’ reporting,” she said in reference to India’s unilateral action to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and its drive the change the demographic character of the disputed state.

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Noting the release of some political and community leaders, the rights chief said that hundreds of people remain in arbitrary detention, with many habeus corpus petitions still pending – including those of many of Jammu and Kashmir’s political leaders.

She also took note of the moves to extend services to remote areas, and “the recent conditional restoration of full Internet connectivity in two districts which should be applied promptly to the rest of Jammu and Kashmir.”

On the Pakistan side, Ms. Bachelet said the people also have limited Internet access, creating difficulties in accessing education and other vital services.

“My Office is committed to continuing its engagement with both India and Pakistan, to uphold the rights of the Kashmiri people – which is the best way to prevent further tensions and conflict,” she added.

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According to analysts, the High Commissioner’s remarks today reinforced the concerns expressed by Pakistan, international media and global human rights organizations over India’s human rights abuses in Kashmir.