Srinagar, June 27, 2019 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) have urged India to allow unconditional access to international human rights organizations to assess the human rights situation in the territory.
The JKCCS and APDP in a statement issued in Srinagar drew attention of the world community to its report on Torture, released on May 20, 2019. The report brings to focus the systematic use of torture by the Indian state on the people of Kashmir.
“Torture is an atrocious crime that has destroyed the lives of all those who have undergone it. Apart from damage to physical health, torture has long lasting psychological effects and economic implications that disrupt the normal life of the victim. The most brutal techniques of torture listed in the Istanbul Protocol of UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-OHCHR) have been used by the Indian armed forces against the people. The report highlights this based on a study of 432 testimonies,” the statement said.
It said the report points out that an inordinate number of victims of torture are civilians, including juveniles, women, students, journalists, political and human rights activists. Apart from this, collective punishments like cordon and search operations (CASOs) continue to be used unabated since 1990, it added.
The APDP and JKCCS said that those responsible for perpetrating torture need to be brought to justice and held accountable. India has signed the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in 1997. They said in over two decades, the successive Indian governments have shown no urgency or interest in ratifying the convention to ensure that a domestic law criminalizing torture is passed. “But the absence of domestic law does not absolve India since torture is a crime under the Customary International Law,” they said.
“APDP and JKCCS call for the ratification of the UNCAT and unconditional access be provided to the UN-OHCHR, all UN Special Rapporteurs and other Special Procedures to assess the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement said.
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