London/Brussels/Geneva August 06 (KMS): The Organisation of Kashmir Coalition (OKC) together with its partners and organisers held a video conference to remember one year of military siege of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) by the Indian authorities following the abrogation of Indian Constitution’s articles 35A and 370 with the intent to change the demography of the territory.

Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo of OKC, who moderated the conference, in his opening remarks highlighted the intent of the conference in terms to launch the “International Day of Lockdown Territories” on 5th August every year in line with the lockdown anniversary of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He stated that in violation of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), lockdowns have become a common feature in occupied territories, such as IIOJK, aiming at to disempower, marginalise and suppress peoples’ movements primarily aimed to deny their inalienable right to self-determination and enforcing unilateral, undemocratic and unconstitutional power to force people to stay indoors meaning freedom of movement is fundamentally breached and people are effectively willfully prohibited from moving around freely.

He referred the IIOJK lockdown the most extreme form of lockdown which is weaponised and carried out through systematic and relentless political repression. Barrister

Barrister Tramboo informed the conference that three important statements have been issued on this 5 August day, one from the United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures, second from the President of the All Parties Group on Kashmir (APGK) in the European Parliament and the third from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretariat, and that these 3 statements tend to support OKC’s declaration to have the “International Day of Lockdown of Territories”.

Member of European Parliament (MEP) and President of APGK, Manuela Ripa, in her statement declared her full support to commemorate 5th August as the International Day of Lockdown Territories recognising a year of utter misery of Lockdown suffered by the people of IIOJK.

Professor Alfred de Zayas, First (former) Independent Expert on the Promotion of
Democratic and Equitable International Order, provided a comprehensive legal analysis concerning occupied territories and lockdowns. In his conclusion, he referred to 5th August 2019, the Indian government’s act of abrogating the Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution with the intention to effect a demographic change in the territory. IIOJK has been placed under siege and totally cut off from rest of the world with the closure of all educational institutions, complete prohibition on freedom of assembly and expression, total shutdown of mobile, internet services and social media and a steep increase in human rights violations, he added.

Professor de Zayas further remarked that OKC with its partners and organizers has decided to launch the “International Day of Lockdown Territories”; this is very much appropriate; the UN Charter commits us all to work for peace, “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small; to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom”.

Professor Nazir Ahmed Shawl of OKC, in his lead presentation on the IIOJK lockdown contributed in terms of having catalogued massive human rights abuses suffered by ordinary Kashmiris men and women and children alike. He deplored random arrests and detentions of Kashmiri youth particularly over the lockdown year who have been lodged in various prisons across India. Professor Shawl lamented that there has been high increase in “search and cordon” operations and “fake encounters” resulting in extrajudicial killings. He expressed his anguish at the continued detention of Syed Ali Gilani, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Aasiya Andrabi, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Mian Abdul Qayoom and Nayeem Ahmed Khan.

Soraya Boyd, CEO of Facilitate Global and a member of OKC, stated that we have seen since the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A the fact that, before the eyes of the international community, Narendra Modi and his war criminal accomplices, have demonstrated that they have no intention of being democratic and no intention of upholding any kind of rule of law; this shows India has become undemocratic and unconstitutional, in fact it is pretty much an illegal regime. She added that the fact Britain is responsible for causing the instability, protracted violence and ongoing rights deprivations/violations that have plagued both peoples: Palestinians and Kashmiris, making a mess and leaving chaos behind.

Ms Boyd further stated that the peoples both in Kashmir and Palestine have been the recipients of ongoing, relentless forms of aggression, violence to include sexual violence committed against both women of all ages and men, an intended outcome of the settler colonial mindset affecting reproductive capacity meaning if a people are prevented from reproducing naturally, over the course of a period of time as a result of not being able to reproduce to have progeny, then that people are going to disappear, another intended outcome is to erase the memory of the existence of a people, in this case of a people with a land, namely the Kashmiris as well as the people of Palestine who have always been a people with a land.

Leonid Savin, Editor-in-Chief of the “Geopoliticа.ru” and Founder and editor-in-chief of the “Journal of Eurasian Affairs”, in his brief presentation proposed developing of alternatively theories dealing with international relations, human rights including nations and states governance. He further remarked that from practical point of view creation of databases, own network, crowdfunding and media campaigns for support of Kashmir is essential.

Professor Joseph Wronka, International Association of Schools of Social Work, hopes that the UN General Assembly will officially endorse, as soon as possible, 5th August as the International Day of Lockdown Territories, as an annual event alongside such other notable days, such as 9 August, the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, 8 March, the International Day of Women, and of course, 10 December, as International Human Rights Day. He believes that doing so, is an excellent policy implementation strategy, perhaps the best way to create a socially just policy, with human rights at its core and that this new international day can create an awareness of both the de jure and de facto plight of the marginalised and disenfranchised whose basic human right to self-determination has been violated.

Rana Basharat Ali Khan of International Human Rights Observer, expressed his dissatisfaction with the Inter-governmental Organisations for not doing enough to uphold, promote and protect the human rights of the people of IIOJK and realisation of their right to self-determination. He hopes that in days to come the world community will come forward to resolve the 72-year-old conflict of Jammu and Kashmir.

Frank Schwalba-Hoth, founding member of the German Greens and one of the first
Green member Parliament in Germany, emphasised the significance of having commemoration of “international days” throughout the year as recognised by the United Nations. He moved the resolution, for and on behalf of OKC, its organisers and partners, to launch this “International Day of Lockdown Territories” and asked the Civil Society structures, the government of this world, the UN General Assembly and other Inter-governmental Organisations:

  • to stand up in solidarity with peoples, including the people of IIOJK, under unlawful
    lockdowns for political or repressive reasons and to uphold people’s fundamental right to live freely, choose their own political future and determine their own form of
    economic, cultural and social development;

  • to organise every year 5th August public events highlighting during that “International Day of Lockdown Territories” the right of freedom of movement; and

  • to end lockdowns (with particular reference to IIOJK) in all the territories whereever these are unlawfully enforced.

This declaration as well as the launch of 5th August as the International Day of Lockdown Territories was adopted unanimously.


Leave a Reply

Kashmir Media Service | Login
%d bloggers like this: