Pakistan urges UN rights chief to demand release of Kashmiri leader Aasiya Andrab, now in Delhi jail
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GENEVA, Jan 01 (APP): Pakistan has called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to push India to release Aasiya Anrabi, a detained Kashmiri rights defender and political activist, who faces an imminent risk of conviction by a “sham” court on January 18.

“Your timely intervention may help prevent miscarriage of justice; assist in breaking the vicious cycle of impunity and human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) and send a strong message of hope to the Kashmiri people, especially women leaders and human rights defenders,” Ambassador Khalil Hashmi said in a letter to the UN rights chief.

Ms. Andrabi, who is the founding leader of “Dukhtaran-i-Millat”, a prominent women rights organizations in IIOJK, has been under Indian custody on specious charges since 2016. She is currently languishing in New Delhi’s Tihar jail.

In his letter, which was released on Friday, Ambassador Hashmi enumerated Ms Andrabi’s activities in defending human rights as also the history of her travails, while strongly urging the high commissioner to counsel India to:

— Immediately drop all fabricated charges against Ms Andrabi and her associates, and release her given the heightened risk to contract the coronavirus infection;

— Release all illegal detainees, especially political prisoners and human rights defenders, in IIOJK;

— Repeal draconian laws;

— Allow UN-supervised investigations into cases of extra-judicial execution; torture; ill-treatment, illegal arrest/detentions and custodial deaths; and

— Fully implement all recommendations of the two Kashmir reports, including the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry.

“As the world’s premier human rights defender and the most prominent woman activist, Pakistan requests you to take due cognizance of Ms Andrabi’s case,” Ambassador HJashmi said in the letter.