Amnesty’s Statement on UN OHCHR report on Human Rights situation in Kashmir
Bengaluru/ New Delhi: 8 July 2019 8:31 pm
Responding to the second-ever report released by the UN on the human rights situation in both Indian-Administered Kashmir and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir, Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India, said:
“India must pay heed to the UN reports and fulfil its obligations under international human rights law. It must immediately end the atmosphere of impunity by repealing repressive laws, criminalizing torture and ensuring effective, impartial and independent investigations into human rights abuses. It must also end the use of pellet guns and other weapons which are inherently inaccurate and indiscriminate and have injured hundreds of innocent civilians and protect human rights defenders and journalists.”
India had rejected the findings and recommendations of last year’s report accusing the United Nations of violating its “sovereignty and territorial integrity”. Unsurprisingly, the present report states that no meaningful improvements, follow up or serious discussion took place on the recommendations.
“Last year, the UN had highlighted various human rights abuses on both sides of the Line of Control and recommended to establish a Commission of Inquiry to address these violations. It had also affirmed the demands of many domestic and international human rights organizations for Indian and Pakistani authorities to deliver justice. A year later, the situation remains.”
Continuing the practice, the Government of India had denied OHCHR the access to Kashmir which led the human rights body to mostly rely on the “research and monitoring carried out by local, national and international nongovernmental organizations and human rights defenders” besides the information available in the public domain. The Government of India, similar to last year, has rejected the report.