16 September 2016
Noted human rights defender, Khurram Parvez, was arrested and detained at around 12:30 am today in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir. He has been detained, without formal arrest or notifications, and in violation of his rights to information, and legal counsel. He has not been provided with any written document, court order or the reasons for his detention. His arrest today follows his detention on 14 September at the New Delhi international airport for approximately two hours. Following which, he was barred from travelling to Geneva, Switzerland. Khurram Parvez is the Programme Coordinator of JKCCS and its spokesperson, and Chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances, a collective of 13 non-governmental organizations from ten Asian countries that campaign on the issue of enforced disappearances. Khurram Parvez was scheduled to attend the 33rd UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva to brief UN bodies, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and foreign governments on the atrocities committed by Indian state forces in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly over the last two months. Khurram Parvez is presently detained at the Kothi Bagh Police Station in Srinagar.
The unlawful detention of Khurram Parvez is a violation of internationally recognized and non-derogable civil and political rights, and India’s own constitutional guarantees. It is a clear indication of reprisal, an attempt to intimidate and restrain Khurram Parvez and his human rights work. In doing so, it seeks to isolate him and silence the critical concerns of Kashmir from being heard by the international community. Unlawful arrests have been consistently used by the Indian state in Jammu and Kashmir to repress all space for dissent. Tellingly, the action on Khurram Parvez closely follows India’s rejection of the UN High Commissioner’s request for access to Jammu and Kashmir for a UN fact-finding mission.
The unlawful arrest and detention of Khurram Parvez, and denial of his right to lawyers, represents a real and imminent security threat that requires urgent attention and action. An urgent appeal has been sent by JKCCS to the President of the UN Human Rights Council, UN High Commissioner, and Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Counsel, including the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
The unlawful arrest and detention of Khurram Parvez is a threat to the principles that Khurram Parvez so courageously represents through his long-standing human rights work in Indian-administered Kashmir: of truth, justice, equality and fundamental rights and freedoms. Khurram Parvez must be released immediately and his rights and freedoms restored.
Parvez Imroz, Advocate
For further information, please contact: Zahir-Ud-Din [+91-9419009648] and Kartik Murukutla [+91-9561095497 (ONLY on WhatsApp) and +41-41779782295 (Switzerland)]