Kunan Event Ban: SHRC Puts Govt On Notice After ‘Support Group’ Petition

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Srinagar: A ‘Support Group for Justice’ for Kunan mass rapes victims has approached the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC to challenge the denial of permission for an event on 23rd February 2017, commemorating the Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day.

A statement issued by rights defender group, JKCCS, said that on 9th March 2017 the group pleaded that there is no provision under law where the permission is needed from the District Magistrate for holding seminars/Press Conference regarding Public interest issue.

“It is the arbitrary exercise of the police to prevent such meetings without giving any explanation or reason,” the group stated.

The SHRC has ordered the State to respond with a detailed report on 1st May 2017, citing reasons for not allowing the event of 23rd February 2017.

23rd of February marks the anniversary of the Kunan mass rape and torture case of 1991 and post 2013 the support group has organized events including debates and discussions and peaceful means of protest against the delay in justice to the survivors.

“Last year the venue had to be changed at the last moment as permission was not given by the police for the book launch of ‘Do you remember Kunan Poshpora?’, and this year the event was banned by the SSP vide order no: PCS/45-17/8356-57, citing law and order problems that could arise as a result of discussing Kunan Poshpora,” the CCS statement informed.

It is important to mention that the events for 23rd of February have revolved around the right of victims to reparations and to legal remedies against perpetrators.

The events have seen young people assemble peacefully in support of women of Kashmir who have suffered massive losses in Kashmir and in support of the people of Kunan, who have been vital part of these events.

“By denying permission for such events the State has made it clear that the victims will not be allowed the right to speech and that apart from shielding the perpetrators it will make every attempt to silence both the victims and those who stand in their support,” the statement said.

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