Brussels, February 25, 2019 (PPI-OT): Upon the launch of Kashmir Youth Assembly, Europe at the European Parliament, Brussels, a declaration was unanimously adopted and signed by the participants of the KYA – EU. Miss Aqsa Ahmed, a 19 years old Councillor of London Borough of Hounslow and a member of Executive Committee of KYA made a commitment that she would engage and work with young Kashmiris and others in colleges and universities to highlight the plight of Kashmiris.
Miss Adriana Gheorghe, a Councillor of London Borough of Hounslow promised to defend Kashmiris human rights as she is a human rights defender. Mr Sardar Mahmood Khan, Belgium Community leader, promised to backup KYA.EU at all levels. He further stated that the Kashmir struggle is a sacred cause which must have its continuity through Kashmiri youth i.e. KYA.EU.
In his concluding remarks Barrister A Majid Tramboo, Chairman ICHR – Kashmir Union EU, while analysing the UN Report, stated that whereas it is correct that the Report asks for the formation of an Independent Enquiry Commission to investigate all forms of gross human rights violations perpetrated on Kashmiris however, it is utterly crucial to highlight 17 other powerful recommendations which the authorities in India have been directed:
“(a) Urgently repeal the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990; and, in the meantime, immediately remove the requirement for prior central government permission to prosecute security forces personnel accused of human rights violations in civilian courts;
(b) Establish independent, impartial and credible investigations to probe all civilian killings which have occurred since July 2016, as well as obstruction of medical services during the 2016 unrest, arson attacks against schools and incidents of excessive use of force by security forces including serious injuries caused by the use of the pellet-firing shotguns;
(c) Investigate all deaths that have occurred in the context of security operations in Jammu and Kashmir following the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court of India;
(d) Investigate all cases of abuses committed by armed groups in Jammu and Kashmir, including the killings of minority Kashmiri Hindus since the late 1980s;
(e) Provide reparations and rehabilitation to all individuals injured and the family of those killed in the context of security operations;
(f) Investigate and prosecute all cases of sexual violence allegedly perpetrated by state and non-state actors, and provide reparations to victims;
(g) Bring into compliance with international human rights standards all Indian laws and standard operating procedures relating to the use of force by law enforcement and security entities, particularly the use of firearms: immediately order the end of the use of pellet-firing shotguns in Jammu and Kashmir for the purpose of crowd control;
(h) Amend the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 to ensure its compliance with international human rights law;
(i) Release or, if appropriate, charge under applicable criminal offences all those held under administrative detention and ensure the full respect of standards of due process and fair trial guaranteed under International law;
(j) Treat any person below the age of 18 who is arrested in a manner consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
(k) Investigate all blanket bans or restrictions on access to the Internet and mobile telephone networks that were imposed in 2016, and ensure that such restrictions are not imposed in the future;
(l) End restrictions on the movement of journalists and arbitrary bans of the publication of newspapers in Jammu and Kashmir.
(m) Ensure independent, impartial and credible investigations into all unmarked graves in the state of Jammu and Kashmir as directed by the State Human Rights Commission; if necessary, seek assistance from the Government of India and /or the international community. Expand the competence of the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission to investigate all human rights violations and abuses in the state, including those allegedly committed by central security forces;
(n) Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and its Optional Protocol, and introduce enabling domestic laws as recommended during India’s UPR in 2008, 2012 and 2017;
(o) In line with its standing invitation to the Special Procedures, accept the invitation requests of the almost 20 mandates that have made such requests; in particular, accept the request of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and facilitate its visit to India, including to Jammu and Kashmir;
(p) Fully respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law.”
He asked India to adhere to the above recommendations and implement them in letter and spirit.
Barrister Tramboo declared that Kashmiri victims of grave human rights violations including killings, wherever they are, will not be forgotten; may it be the barbaric rapes and gang-rapes of Konan-Poshpora or the unnamed and unmarked graves. He assured Mrs Shamim Shawl and Mr Latif Ahmed Butt that as victims, he would take up their cases with the appropriate mandates within EU and UN.
Barrister Tramboo believed that the declaration of KYA–EU, having launched within the European Parliament, is historic. It places a critical responsibility on the team of KYA to advocate the cause of Kashmir within youth and power corridors legitimately and effectively. Thereafter, Barrister Tramboo announced the Roundtable having adjourned.
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