Mirwaiz aghast over the miserable plight of Kashmiri prisoners

Srinagar—Addressing the Friday congregational gather­ing at the historic Jamia Masjid APHC chairman said that the information received from jails regarding the plight of detainees is deeply disturbing and a matter of serious concern for the leader­ship and the people of Kashmir. Mirwaiz said that the treatment meted out to Kashmiri detainees and under trials lodged particu­larly in Jammu central jail Kot­balwal ,Kathua and Tihar jail right from the time they enter these jails is deliberately inhu­man. He said that it is aimed not so much at physically tortur­ing them but to break their will and determination and affect them psychologically. Mirwaiz said that these detainees are not criminals but political prisoners who are being subject to deten­tion for their political convic­tions and outlook and dealing with them inhumanly is not only a violation of the Geneva conven­tions of the rights and dignity of prisoners but even against basic human practices and ethics.

He said that the vengeful treatment to which they are subject to during detention includes off and on solitary confinement, manhandling of leadership by dreaded crimi­nals posing a grave threat to their lives, unavailability of medicines and medical care and substandard quality of food including only pulses provided to them. Mirwaiz said that even the visitors and relatives who come to see them in jail are also delibeately harassed and tor­mented by the authorities. All this is done in complete viola­tion of the jail manual which lays emphasis on the honor and dignity of prisoners.

Mirwaiz termed the silence of international organizations towards the plight of Kashmiri prisoners as unfortunate and stated that there are dozens of prisoners who have already completed their term but contin­ue to languish in prisons while many prisoners are under trials whose trials are repeatedly de­ferred. He said that even when the prisoners lodged under the notorious PSA complete their term, police and related agen­cies are ready with another dos­sier to prolong their detention mostly under fictitious charges.

Mirwaiz said repeatedly we are appealing Indian and inter­national human rights organi­zations including Amnesty In­ternational, Asia watch ICRC to get a firsthand account of this pa­thetic situation of Kashmiri pris­oners by on spot inspection of jails where Kashmiri prisoners are lodged to see for themselves what they are going through and take up the matter with the In­dian Government. He said it is their moral and legal duty.

Mirwaiz said that Kashmiri po­litical prisoners including Shabir Ahmed Shah, Adv. Shahidul Islam, Altaf Ahmed Fantoosh, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Meh­rajudin Kalwal, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Mu­hammad Sidiq Ganai, Dr Mu­hammad Qasim, Asiya Andrabi, Zahoor Watali, Fehmeeda Sofi, Masrat Alam Bhat, Muhammad Shafi Khan, Atif Ahmed, Ghulam Ahmed Gulzar, Muhammad You­suf Mir, Ghulam Jeelani, Farooq Ahmed Daga, Muhammad Sidiq Ganai, Muzaffar Ahmed, Aqib Ahmad and hundreds of other prisoners including children should be released forthwith. Mir­waiz said there is no justification for the authorities to lodge them behind the bars.

Meanwhile, on the demise of the mother of Hurriyat activ­ist and Peoples Political Front president Abdul Majeed Wani, Mirwaiz expressed his heart-felt condolences. Mirwaiz led the fu­neral prayers of the deceased and termed her a pious and god-fear­ing woman. In his condolence message, Mirwaiz expressed sympathy and solidarity with the bereaved family and prayed for the deceased soul. (CNS)

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