Kashmiri political prisoners lodged in Indian prisons are not criminals: Mirwaiz

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Srinagar: Expressing strong dismay Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq questioned the silence of rights organizations across the globe and in India that stands for upholding the rights of prisoners especially those that are in prisons for their political beliefs as the political prisoners from J&K.

Mirwaiz while addressing the Friday congregation at historic Jama Masjid said it is unfortunate that none of the rights organizations have visited the various jails in J&K and across India where Kashmiri prisoners are lodged in dismal conditions despite repeated appeals by leadership and activists about their plight and the continued detention of hundreds despite completing their sentence.

In a statement, Mirwaiz said that the hundreds of Kashmiri political prisoners lodged in various prisons across India and Jammu and Kashmir are not criminals but those heeding to the voice of their conscience and following their dream of striving for their people’s just right to self-determination and being punished for it by an adverse state.

Mirwaiz said the state under its draconian laws the PSA and AFSPA have booked leaders activists and youth in made up cases and is subjecting them to illegal detention for years and decades on the end which is highly condemnable.

He said that the prolonged and in many cases perpetual detention of Kashmiri inmates is the worst form of human rights violations.

He said that majority of Kashmiri prisoners have been shifted from Valley to various Indian prisons in brazen violation of the of the Geneva convention that lays emphasis on keeping the prisoners in prisons closer to their homes and also its own Supreme Court verdict.

He said the health of all the prisoners lodged in various jails in India keeps deteriorating due to prolonged detention. Mirwaiz said that many of these prisoners are not even produced in courts for trial which is extremely inhumane and illegal.

Mirwaiz said that the state also uses its institutions like NIA and ED against leadership and activists to put them in jails without any evidence or on fake charges.

He said that this year leadership and activists including Shabir Ahmad Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Dr Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, Peer Saifullah, Ayaz Akbar, Meraj-u-Din Kalwal, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Shahid Yusuf, Zahoor Ahmad Watali, Asia Andrabi, Fahmeedah Sofi and Naheedah Nasreen will complete two years in Tihar jail without trial.

APHC chairman once again urged the UNHRC and other human rights organizations that include Asia watch, ICRC, Amnesty International to focus their attention on the grave misuse of state and military power against those with dissenting political beliefs and their inhuman treatment and prolonged detention in jails.

Mirwaiz also urged them to use their good offices to ask GOI for the release of all these detainees.

Recalling the massacres by the state through its forces in Handwara and Kupwara on 25th 27th January, 1990 Mirwaiz paid glowing tributes to the martyrs of these massacres and said that the history of our just struggle is written in the blood of our innocent and brave people and the history of our persecutors by their inhumanity and ruthlessness.

Mirwaiz also recalled the 1998 Wandhama massacre and expressed sympathy with the families of those brutally killed by assailants whose identity is still not known. Mirwaiz demanded an international probe into it to bring the perpetrators to book and justice for the victims.

Mirwaiz also expressed extreme grief and pain at the killing of armed youth in Shopian Budgam and Baramulla in the last few days and paid rich tributes to them. Lamenting their death Mirwaiz said if GOI will give up its obduracy and address the dispute the lives of our youth can be saved. (KNS)

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