Geneva, July 04 (KMS): The demand for initiation of an independent enquiry commission to investigate the allegations of gross human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir was raised at a parallel event organised on the sidelines of the ongoing 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The event was held under the auspices of International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM) in collaboration with the International Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), Indigenous Peoples and Nations Coalition (IPNC) and Koani Foundation.

The title of the event was: “Human Rights Globally, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of the United Nations including peoples’ Right to Self-Determination.”

The event was moderated by Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo and was joined by fellow panelists Professor Alfred De Zayas, Frank Schwalba-Hoth, Professor Nazir Ahmad Shawl, Ambassdor Ronald Barnes and Leon Kaualhao Siu.

Barrister Tramboo (IHRAAM & ICHR) opening remarks were focused on the most recent High Commissioner’s Report prepared by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Jammu and Kashmir released on 14th June 2018.

Whereas Barrister Tramboo welcomed His Excellency’s recommendation to initiate an Independent enquiry commission to investigate the allegations of gross human rights atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir, however, he proposed that a panel discussion must take place on the elements of the report either by the time the of the 39th or 40th session of the Human Rights Council will take place.

Further, Barrister referred to the IHRAAM/CPG-OHBCUD intervention at the 22nd session of the Working Group of Experts on Peoples of African Descent (WGEPAD) and highlighted the Salient features of the intervention including the activities with which the Core Planning Group is presently engaged (copy intervention attached) supported by ICHR, IPNC and Koani Foundation.

Continuing the discussion, Frank Schwalba-Hoth, political strategist and former MEP addressed the issue of self-determination globally and highlighted that states were frightened to ever accept or give states the right to self-determination is down to the changing of the borders. He explained that the European Union was always open to self-determination. He said the while Kashmir dispute is justified amongst various European States, they could not be publically vocal to support the issue because of their own self-determination issues.

Professor Nazir Ahmad Shawl commented that the High Commissioner’s report was indicative of the promise given to Jammu and Kashmir for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Ambassador Ronald Barnes, Chair and Director of Indigenous Peoples and Nations, praised the work done by Barrister Tramboo and others and praising the nature and contents of the High Commissioner’s report which highlights the atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir.

The event concluded with a key intervention by Professor Alfred de Zayas, independent expert for the Democratic and International Order for the Human Rights Council and Secretary of the Human Rights Committee. Professor De Zayas enunciated that every state in their plight for self-determination has the fundamental right to fair vote and fair referenda.

He went on to emphasize that Article 19 of the International Covenant for Civiland Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant for Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the UN Charter words were clear in that these international legislations do not target a specific group of people but rather that everyone is entitled to their own basic rights and that is inclusive of the right to determine one’s own statehood. He concluded by endorsing the High Commissioner’s concluding remarks in the report and specifically emphasized the need to establish a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegation of human right violations in Kashmir.

Professor De Zayas called upon the UN to investigate the allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir based on the powerful nature of the report. He explained that the Kashmir issue has been on the UN agenda since 1947 but criticized the UN for its failure to resolve the issue. He called upon the General Assembly to revisit the resolutions that were adopted at the time of the Kashmir issue because they were ‘fundamentally flawed’ because the indigenous population were prevented from fair referenda or even voting on their right to self-determination.


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