EU parliamentarians vow to discuss human rights violations in occupied Kashmir

EU parliamentarians vow to discuss human rights issues in IoK My Country
EU parliamentarians vow to discuss human rights issues in IoK My Country

EU parliamentarians vow to discuss human rights issues in IoK My Country

STRASBOURG: Parliamentarians of the European Union (EU) vowed to raise the issue of human rights violations committed by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir in upcoming EU parliament sessions, Radio Pakistan reported.

In a meeting held in Strasbourg, Chairman of Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee Mushahid Hussain briefed members of the EU parliament over brutal tactics used by Indian occupational forces. He also provided them with a copy of the recently released report on occupied Kashmir by the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights.

Member EU parliament Wajid Khan also apprised his colleagues regarding the gross human rights violations including use of pellet guns.

Taking notice of the situation, the EU members assured Pakistan’s delegation of cooperation and promised to raise the issue during the upcoming parliament session.

The UN’s Kashmir report reveals “impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice” to be human rights challenges in IoK.

“Special laws in force in the state, such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1990 (AFSPA) and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (PSA) have created structures that obstruct normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardise the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations.”

Days-long curfews and communication blockades had a cumulative impact on students and their right to education. In 2016, the authorities imposed restrictions on freedom of expression by targeting the media and journalists, it added.

Glaring rights violations have been stressed including arbitrary arrests and detention of children. “As a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, India is obligated to ensure the principles of legality and the right to liberty and security. The right to liberty and  security  includes the right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention, the right to know the reasons for one’s detention and charges, if any the right to be brought before a judge within a reasonable time following arrest or detention, and the right to appeal to a court of law to review the arrest or detention.”

The OHCHR observed “persistent claims of torture by security forces in Kashmir” including sexual violence. “Authorities have failed to independently investigate and prosecute allegations of sexual violence by security forces personnel. There is no record of allegations of sexual violence by security forces being prosecuted in a civilian court.”

Expressing concern over frequent reports of increasing infringements of the ceasefire agreement since the start of 2018, including shelling and shooting that have resulted in civilian casualties and the forced the displacement of people living along the Line of Control (LOC), the OHCHR recommends that “governments of  India and Pakistan to immediately cease all shelling and firing along the LOC and Working Boundary and do all that is reasonable to ensure that the rights of civilians living in these areas are respected and protected”.

EU parliamentarians vow to discuss human rights issues in IoK My Country