UNHCR terms Indian reaction disappointing

Srinagar, July 18 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the Chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, has expressed concern over the inhuman treatment meted out to the Kashmiri leaders and activists illegally detained in different jails of India and Kashmir.

Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai in a statement issued in Srinagar appealed to all global human rights watchdogs including Amnesty International, Asia Watch and International Committee of Red Cross to conduct a thorough visit of various jails to take stock of the situation in jails.

An elderly pro-freedom activist, Ghulam Hassan Malik, better known as Noor Khan, died in the custody of Indian authorities on Tuesday. 70-year-old Ghulam Hassan was detained at Kot Bhalwal jail. He was a resident of Uri, and was arrested on January 22 under draconian law, Public Safety Act. His son, Irshad Ahmad Malik talking to media men demanded an inquiry into the circumstances, which led to his father’s death.

In what can be termed as travesty of justice, Aseem Sawhney, a lawyer representing the mastermind of infamous Kathua rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl, Aasifa, from Jammu, has been appointed as the additional advocate general by the Delhi-run administration in occupied Kashmir.

Residents of Mochwara area of Shopian district complained that the Indian troops barged into their houses, beat them ruthlessly and ransacked their property. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a statement condemned the forces’ action.

Indian authorities ordered the cable operators to immediately shut as many as 30 private satellite channels, mostly Islamic channels from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in the Valley.

Kashmiri journalist fraternity in a statement expressed anguish over the police action against media outlets for publishing an open letter of Kashmiri PhD scholar, Abdul Mannan Wani. The journalists threatened to hit the streets against media restrictions.

In Geneva, India, once again, faced embarrassment at the diplomatic level after the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights lashed out at the campaign launched by its media outlets against the UN body and Secretary General Antonio Guterres over UN body’s landmark report on Kashmir. Rupert Colville, the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, in a statement issued to press in Geneva termed the hue and cry raised by Indian media over the report as ‘puzzling’ and ‘wild claims’. Rupert Colville said the UN Human Rights Office has a global mandate and works independently, with a well-established methodology, in its public reporting. The UNCHCR said that it had been deeply disappointed by the reaction of the Indian authorities. The spokesperson termed the Indian media campaign as sustained attempts to distract and divert focus from human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.

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