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MIRPUR,(AJK): While voicing their grave concern over the continual illegal detention of Kashmiri prisoners in Indian as well as Occupied Kashmir’s jails, speakers at a seminar held on the sidelines of the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) in Geneva late Saturday, said that thousands of detainees lodged in different jails in and outside the Valley was getting worse with every passing day.

“The seminar titled “Plight of Kashmir Prisoners” was attended and addressed by political activists, parliamentarians, public representatives, law experts and human rights defenders hailing from different parts of the world including Altaf Hussain Wani chairman Kashmir institute of International relations, Faheem Kayani, Hassan ul Bana, Mirza Asif Jarral and others”, says a message reaching and released to the media here on Sunday.

The speakers continued that thousands of Kashmiris who were arrested before and after 5th August 2019 have been languishing in India’s notorious jails like Tihar, which has become a death trap for Kashmiris.

They said that a sizable number of Kashmiris who were taken into preventive custody on 5th August 2019 continue to rot in Amphala, Udhampor, Hiranagar, Khatua and Kotbalwal jails.

The speakers said that the Indian government has given a free license to its forces and agencies like NIA and Enforcement Directorate to arrest Kashmiris. They said that dozens of top rank political leaders including Muhammad Yasin Malik, Musarrat Aalam Bhat, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Asiya Andrabi and others were picked up from their homes and whisked off to prisons outside the valley.

“They have been actually abducted by NIA and ED and shifted to Tihar Jail under frivolous and concocted charges,” the speakers said, adding that scores of detainees including Dr. Qasim Faktoo, Dr. Shafi Shariati, Ghulam Qadir and many more were rotting in jails serving life terms.

The speakers, while referring to conviction of prominent Kashmiri leader Muhammad Yasin Malik, said that Malik’s conviction in a manifestly dubious and politically motivated case filed by the Indian National Investigation Agency, amply demonstrates how the Modi government was using judiciary as a weapon to silence legitimate Kashmiri voices.

Referring to India’s history of using the judiciary and other state apparatus to suppress the political and democratic dissent in the occupied Kashmir, the speakers said that India, which had deprived Malik of his fundamental right to defend himself in the court of law after implicating him in a concocted case, was now hell bent on eliminating him by using its judiciary.

Raising their concerns over the Indian investigation agency’s bid to seek the death penalty for Yasin Malik, the speakers said that the NIA’s malicious intention poses a grave threat to the life of Mr. Malik who has been leading a non-violent movement, advocating for the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

They said that it was quite astonishing to note that the JKLF chief and other Kashmiri leaders were being penalised just for raising their voice for the voiceless Kashmiris.

They said that the Modi’s double edged onslaught against Kashmiris was aimed at whipping up anti-Muslim sentiments, polarise people and win votes. They said that the Hindu nationalist party-BJP-which played communal card to stoke hatred between the people to win elections was now using the same tactics to save its vote bank.

They said that there were ample evidence which suggests that the Modi led apartheid regime, which thrives on communal divide and anti-Muslim sentiment, could use the unlawful execution of the Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik as a means to regain popularity and to bolster chances of retaining power in the upcoming Parliamentary Elections being held in 2024.

The speakers appealed to the UN secretary-general to take swift and decisive action by demanding the Indian government to stop using its judiciary as a weapon to punish Kashmiri leaders who have been waging a peaceful struggle to achieve the fundamental rights guaranteed to Kashmiris by no less an authority than the United Nations.

They said that India being a signatory to the Geneva Convention on political prisoners was bound to respect the rights of prisoners.

They said it was high time that the world human rights bodies should mount pressure on India to release all illegally detained prisoners.

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