SRINAGAR: The last week of May every year is recognized interna¬tionally as the International Week of the Disappeared and is an opportu¬nity to remember the disappeared, and acknowledge the struggle of their families. This year, tomorrow on 4th of May, Indias human rights record will be reviewed in the Unit¬ed Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC) under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) system by which States subject themselves to a review – by other States – of their human rights record. Since 2006, when the UPR process began, India has been reviewed twice – 2008 and 2012 and 4 May 2017 is Indias third cycle of UPR.
Indias UPR comes at a time of widespread and systematic vio¬lence in Indian-administered Jam¬mu & Kashmir. In 2016, 383 people were killed (including 145 civil¬ians). A majority of the killings of civilians took place between July and December 2016 when a popular uprising was met with brutal State violence. This year alone so far 98 people have been killed (including 35 civilians). The recent violence mirrors the overall situation over the last two decades in the region with an estimated 70,000+ persons killed, 8000+ enforced disappear¬ances, widespread torture and sexual violence, arbitrary deten¬tions, and curbs on fundamental freedoms including religion, opinion and association. Accom¬panying this violence has been near complete impunity for the State forces. Despite domestic law warranting investigations and on occasion courts directing the State to act against forces ac¬cused of violations the perpetra¬tors continue to enjoy impunity of violence are protected.
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