GoI Violating Geneva Convention: JRL

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SRINAGAR —  The joint resistance leadership (JRL) on Tuesday said: “India is violating the Geneva Convention on prisoners by terrorizing Kashmiri inmates”.

According to a statement issued here, the JRL on Tuesday organized a seminar ‘Prisoners of Conscience’ at Abi Guzar here on the completion of one year of incarceration of resistance leaders and activists including Shabir Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saif-u-ullah, Meraj-u-Din Kalwal, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Zahoor Ahmad Watali, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Aslam Wani and Shahid Yousuf, by NIA and ED.

JRL leader and JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik presided over the seminar while as Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani who continues to remain under house arrest and Mirwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq who was placed under house arrest on Tuesday morning addressed the seminar on phone.

“The seminar was held to highlight the worst and inhuman conditions faced by pro-resistance Kashmiri inmates at various Indian jails like Tihar, Mandawali and jails of Jammu Kashmir including Udhampur, Kathua, Hiranagar, Amphala, Srinagar Central Jail, and jails of Mattan, Baramulla, Kupwara, Kot Bhawal, and other incarceration centres,” the statement said.

The speakers at the seminar said India being a signatory to the Geneva Convention on prisoners should abide by the international law “but contrary to this, India is employing every evil means to inflict more and more harm to these inmates”.

 “Kashmiri prisoners were the prisoners of conscience and they deserve the sympathy and ownership of the international community. India on one hand claims to be the biggest democracy of the world but on the other hand is caging down political activists for holding a political belief. This is not a democratic approach but a dictatorial attitude and India should either shun its claim of being biggest democracy or stop choking space on political activities,” the speakers said.

Highlighting the miseries faced by Kashmiri prisoners, the speakers said that “slapping repeated PSAs, employing police tactics to prolong incarceration of prisoners, using agencies like NIA, ED etc to imprison Kashmiri prisoners in Indian jails, shifting lifers and other detainees from Kashmiri jails to jails in Jammu, disrespecting court orders and other normal procedures vis-a-vis prisoners, denying proper medical facilities to inmates, torturing, beating, putting into solitary confinements, keeping inmates naked inside prison cells, humiliating and torturing their kith and kin who come to see them at jails and other incarceration centres and other oppressive measures like these have become a new normal in Jammu Kashmir”.

“It is the obligation of the international community, human rights organizations, civil societies, International Red Cross (ICRC) and others to take note of this grim situation regarding inmates and intervene to safeguard the rights of these prisoners of conscience and use their good offices to get them released from incarceration,” the speakers said.

Speakers said that “on 30 June 2017, NIA issued a statement that after investigations it had found nothing against resistance camp but after some time this agency was used and it kidnapped many Kashmiris to Delhi and detained them under concocted charges”.

“Recently, this agency has again kidnapped and arrested three women leaders Syeda Asiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi and Nahida Nasreen and put them in Delhi,” the speakers said and hoped that the international community and people who care for human rights will listen to the cries of Kashmiri prisoners and intervene to help save their lives and careers.

Emphasizing over the need of strengthening the unity among ranks and files, the speakers said the struggle of people of Jammu Kashmir is for their birth right and self-determination.

They said JRL is representing the sentiments of people and all should follow them in letter and spirit.

 “If we have any suggestion or difference of opinion, we should refrain from making it public and instead try to reach out to the leadership in person,” the speakers said adding, “Despite all hardships and oppressive measures, the struggle for freedom and right to self-determination will continue till the desired goal is achieved.”

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