UN rights chief calls for international inquiry into Kashmir violations

Nimisha Jaiswal/IRIN
Women walking past Indian security forces in Srinagar, summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Decades of rights violations on both sides of the Line of Control in Kashmir have “claimed or ruined numerous lives” and should be the subject of a high-level international probe, the UN’s human rights chief said on Thursday.

Flagging the launch of the first UN human rights report on the disputed territory separating India and Pakistan, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein noted his intention to ask the Human Rights Council in Geneva to set up a commission of inquiry at its next session, beginning on Monday.

The High Commissioner – whose mandate ends this summer – highlighted what he called the “chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces” and said that the political nature of the conflict had masked the “untold suffering” of millions of people.

The main focus of the 49-page report is the use of reported “excessive force” by soldiers in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, although it also examines a range of rights violations in Pakistan-Administered Kashmir.

In Indian-Administered Kashmir, the report details how large demonstrations erupted in Jammu and Kashmir two years ago after Indian security forces killed the leader of an armed group.

It notes how “excessive force” led to the deaths of an estimated 145 civilians from mid-2016 to April this year.

Victims’ lack of access to justice remains a key challenge in Jammu and Kashmir, the report from the UN human rights office, OHCHR, continues.

It details how bespoke legislation gives security personnel “virtual immunity” against legal redress unless the Indian government authorizes it, and says that “there has not been a single prosecution” in the nearly 30 years that the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act has been in force.

This “almost total impunity” has also hindered inquiries into enforced or voluntary disappearances, the report continues, citing allegations of mass graves in the state and the alleged mass rape of 23 women by soldiers in Kunan-Poshpora nearly three decades ago.

Turning to Pakistan-Administered Kashmir, the OHCHR report describes rights violations there as being “of a different calibre or magnitude”.

It details restrictions on freedom of expression and people’s right to peaceful assembly in two territories – Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and in Gilgit-Baltistan – and expresses concern at the “very broad definition of terrorism” amid reports that hundreds of people have been detained under Pakistan’s anti-terrorism legislation in Gilgit-Baltistan alone.

Any resolution of the political situation in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Indian-administered Kashmir “must entail a commitment to end the cycles of violence and ensure accountability for past and current abuses by all parties”, Zeid said.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Human rights: breaches in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan

“An open China brings opportunities to Europe”, a Sting Exclusive by China’s Ambassador to EU

Security Council unanimously agrees to extend UN Cyprus Mission amid political impasse

Brexit: UK to suffer from EU’s uncompromising stance

How Cameron unwillingly helped Eurozone reunite; the long-term repercussions of two European Council decisions

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Security Council extends mandate of UN Interim Force in Lebanon for a year

The scary EU elections result and the delayed Council’s repentance

COP21 Breaking News_09 December: The Draft Agreement Updated

Inflation keeps falling in Eurozone

Why Italy will not follow the Greek road; Eurozone to change or unravel

“InvestEU”: MEPs support new programme to boost financing for jobs and growth

Here’s how to build energy infrastructures fit for the future

Earth already has a perfect recycling system. So why not use it?

Rising insecurity in Central Africa Republic threatens wider region, Security Council told

New EU rules cut red tape for citizens living or working in another Member State as of tomorrow

Moves to create a Kosovo army have ‘deteriorated relations’ with Serbia: UN peacekeeping chief

Chart of the day: This is how many animals we eat each year

Ethiopia is Africa’s fastest-growing economy

G20 World Exclusive Interview: “The world, especially emerging economies and developing countries, require a more sustainable and quality development”, the Spokesperson of Japan underscores live from Antalya Turkey

How ‘small’ is Europe in Big Data?

Indonesia: Psychological impact on earthquake survivors turns villages into ‘ghost towns’

JADE Testimonial #1: Marcello @ Enlargement

IMF: The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy is one of strong growth and job creation

At G20 Summit OECD’s Gurría says collective action vital to tackle global challenges

First-ever EU defence industry fund to finance joint development of capabilities

Terrorists potentially target millions in makeshift biological weapons ‘laboratories’, UN forum hears

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

Parliamentary bid to democratize Myanmar constitution a ‘positive development’ says UN rights expert

The Banking Union may lead to a Germanic Europe

G20 LIVE: G20 Statement on the fight against terrorism

Amazon indigenous groups want to create a nature sanctuary the size of Mexico

European Junior Enterprise Network – Ready to take the Step Into the Future?

UN rights chief welcomes new text to protect rights of peasants and other rural workers

Back to the basics for the EU: Investment equals Growth

Conflicts and extreme climate change threatens access to food in 39 countries – UN agriculture report

Data capture, not disclosure, is the way to meet our climate goals

Germany not famous for easy way outs from political stalemates

Why South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

Agreement reached on new EU Solidarity Corps

West Bank: ‘imminent’ demolition of Palestinian village could be ‘war crime’ – ICC Prosecutor

Britain declares trade war on mainland Europe

A refugee from Syria cries out: “I’m not just a number!”

In Gaza, UN envoy urges Israel, Palestinian factions to step back from brink of a war that ‘everybody will lose’

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commissioner Mimica looks at how the private sector can better deliver for international development

Ambassador Zhang Ming: “Work Together for a Better Globalization”

Draghi keeps the euro cheap, helps debt refinancing, recapitalization of banks and growth

IMF launches a new offensive against Germany

A multipolar world brings back the national champions

Adjust UN force in Abyei to current realities, peacekeeping chief urges Security Council

Reinforcing EU border security: Visa-exempt travelers will be pre-screened

Charles Michel advocates a strong Europe that acts where it can add real value

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “It is the implementation, Stupid!”, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble points the finger to Greece from Davos

Sustainability is now mission critical for businesses. Here’s why

12 ways the tech sector can help save the climate in 12 years

Quality Education on the table at the European Parliament

Commission publishes the first report on the issuance of a Eurobond

Why growth is now a one way road for Eurozone

A day in the life of a Rohingya refugee

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s