UN urged to help provide relief to IIOJK detainees » Kashmir Media Service

Srinagar, May 20 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Chairman of International Forum For Justice Human Rights Jammu Kashmir, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, has sought urgent UN intervention to provide relief to the Kashmiri political prisoners in view of the raging coronavirus pandemic besides investigating death of Hurriyat leader, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, under Indian custody.

Muhammad Ahsan Untoo in an open letter to the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, wrote that pro-freedom leader Ashraf Sehrai died in Indian custody in Jammu on May 5, 2021. He said that Ashraf Sehrai, who was under illegal detention since July 2020, was shifted to hospital from Udhampur jail, about 60 km (37 miles) from the hospital.

He wrote that Ashraf Sehrai’s family says that Indian authorities are responsible for the death as they did not provide the much-needed medicines and treatment to the aged leader. “The Indian authorities did not allow people to attend the funeral either. Instead, they permitted a selected group of 20 people including his two sons to attend the funeral. And, later the police filed a criminal case under draconian law against the mourners including his two sons for reportedly raising pro-freedom slogans during his funeral. Both his sons, Mujahid Sehrai and Raashid Sehrai, and nephew Altaf Ahmed, were arrested from their Srinagar residence by the police and continue to be under custody at the time of writing this letter,” he said.

“We appeal to the UN Secretary General to immediately intervene and build pressure on the Indian government to investigate the death of Sehrai under police custody besides uphold the universal law of right to mourn the dead – the basic human right of every individual. The Indian authorities are violating the international law and basic fundamentals of humanity by not providing medical treatment to the Kashmiri political prisoners and thus risking their lives amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic,” Untoo further wrote.

The IFJHRJK Chairman maintained that the custodial murder of Ashraf Sehrai cannot be left uninvestigated as it will put the lives of other Kashmiri prisoners lodged in jails of India and IIOJK at risk. Since Kashmir is an internationally recognised dispute, it becomes incumbent upon the UN to protect the lives of Kashmiri prisoners under the international law, he added.

“The family members of Kashmiri prisoners are extremely worried and concerned about the safety of their jailed loved ones since they believe the government of India has intentionally put their lives at risk by not releasing them during the raging pandemic. Their worries have been lent credence as several Kashmiris have contracted the corona virus in jails. The ill-treatment of Kashmir detainees by India to the extent of denying their medical care needs and literally left the prisoners to perish,” he wrote.

Hence, we demand that the UN should urgently intervene and take up the matter with Indian authorities so that they do not turn a blind eye towards the Kashmiri prisoners and provide them relief at earnest, he added. KMS—16M

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