United Nations, Geneva, June 25 (KMS): Kashmiri woman leader Shamim Shawl joined two members of European Parliament to raise the case of gang rape and murder of the eight-year-old Kashmiri girl Asifa at the United Nations.

This was one of the largest side-events during the 38th session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and saw extensive discussion on Asifa’s case and on Kashmir, as the conflict now tops the humanitarian agenda of the Council, thanks to the first-ever UN report on Kashmir issued by UN High Commissioner.

Shamim Shawl led this major side-event in her capacity as the Geneva representative of International Muslim Women Union (IMWU), in collaboration with a key American INGO, Women’s UN Report Network (WUNRN).

Afton Beutler, Director of Global Education Opportunity Program, an NGO, commended the work of rights defenders in highlighting India’s violations in Kashmir. She singled out Shawl’s diligent effort over the years to keep members of the Council and human rights defenders informed about developments in Kashmir.

Ms. Ward gave a detailed presentation on her long study of Indian human rights violations in the disputed region.

European Parliament Member, Alex Mayer drew the attention of Kashmiri activists to the fact that British members of European Parliament are often alone in talking about Kashmir conflict, and that there is a need for Kashmiri activists to reach out to European Parliament members other than those from the United Kingdom.

A short film on the case of Asifa was screened in the hall.


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