New Delhi, May 22, 2019 (PPI-OT): In total disregard to the international obligations, India has shamelessly informed the United Nations body that it will not entertain any communication with the Human Rights Council (HRC) Special Rapporteurs on its report on human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.
The report from the UN body came at the same time a report from two IOK based human rights organizations Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons on the cases of torture was released in Srinagar, which was endorsed by a former UN Special Rapporteur.
The current Special Rapporteurs on Extrajudicial Executions, Torture, and Right to Health – Agnes Callamard, Dainius Puras and Nils Melzer – had referred to a June 2018 report of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and written to the Indian government in March 2019, asking about steps taken by New Delhi to address the human rights violations listed in the report. In addition, the Special Rapporteurs had listed 13 cases of concern from 2018 alone, in which four children were among eight civilians killed by members of the Indian forces.
The Indian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva while responding to the OHCHR said, “India… does not intend to engage further with these mandate-holders or any other mandate-holders on the issue.”
UN officials say that India is already in contravention of several Conventions it has committed to, including a Standing Invitation signed in 2011 to all special rapporteurs to visit India. According to the UN records, more than 20 such visit requests, including a visit to occupied Kashmir, are pending at present. Indian newspaper The Hindu reported that between 2016 and 2018, the OHCHR Special Rapporteurs had sent as many as 58 communications but had received no response. “The only response so far has been to the communication relating to Jammu and Kashmir….The last visit was by the Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation, in October-November 2017,” a UN official said.
The UN submission on Kashmir coincided with the release of an extensive 560-page report on Monday, prepared by the JKCCS and APDP. “This report will constitute a landmark. It is hoped it will be an example to other civil society organizations in India and in other countries as a model,” wrote Juan E. Mendez, former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2010-16), in the report’s preface, adding that he had been denied permission to visit India.
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