9 November 2016
Statement by JKCCS
Today, the 55th day of Khurram Parvez’s unlawful detention, marks the 124th day of continued curfew, restrictions and widespread and systematic State violence against the people of Jammu and Kashmir since 8 July 2016. The violence thus far has resulted in 100+ killings, 15, 000+ injured including by pellet shot guns resulting in blindness, and 10, 000+ arrests including under the Public Safety Act (PSA). Khurram Parvez was arrested early on 16 September, after being stopped at the New Delhi international airport from travelling to Geneva for the 33rd UN Human Rights Council Session. Following his initial arrest and detention being quashed by the Sessions Court, Srinagar, he was re-arrested and is presently detained at Kot Bhalwal Jail Jammu under PSA for being a threat to “public order”. The petition challenging his unlawful detention is listed before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Srinagar, on 15 November. The State has yet to file any response to the petition, thereby causing further delay in proceedings.
Today, JKCCS releases a dossier – “State versus Khurram Parvez: A Peoples’ Dossier” – that serves as a summary of Khurram Parvez and his work. It is ironic, that a man who has so courageously raised his voice against human rights abuses by the Indian state, is now a victim of the very same lawlessness, held without trial under a law whose injustice he is to a great extent responsible for illuminating. The arrest of Khurram Parvez, is a silencing not just of his voice, but has a chilling effect on all those who speak for the voiceless in Kashmir, jeopardizing the work and space he and others have carefully crafted over years against the forces of fear and repression. As only one among thousands of forgotten victims of the Indian state’s repression of Kashmiri people, the struggle for his release is a part of the larger struggle for rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Despite widespread global condemnation of illegal detention of Khurram Parvez, the Indian State has chosen violence over processes of justice and rule of law. The government has ignored the demand of five Special Rapporteurs/Working Groups of the UN, and numerous international and Indian individuals and groups – including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances, Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearances and the International Commission of Jurists – for the immediate release of Khurram Parvez. Today’s release of the dossier must serve to once again draw attention to the unlawful detention of Khurram Parvez and the ongoing violence against the people of Jammu and Kashmir. JKCCS demands the immediate release of Khurram Parvez and all others illegally detained under PSA and regular criminal law, and urges the international community to continue to campaign and question Government of India on its continued violence in Jammu and Kashmir.
Parvez Imroz, Advocate