‘He is not a terrorist’: UN criticises arrest of Khurram Parvez

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Rights groups including the United Nations have criticised the arrest of a prominent Human Rights activist Khurram Parvez in Kashmir on terror funding charges.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday evening arrested Khurram Parvez after raiding his residence and office in Srinagar earlier in the day.

Parvez has been booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and other multiple charges.

According to the arrest memo, a copy of which is in the possession of The Kashmir Walla, the sections that have been invoked against Khurram include 120B, 121 and 121A of IPC and sections 17, 18, 18B, 38 and 40 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Act, 1967.

Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, called Parvez’s arrest “disturbing”.

“He’s not a terrorist, he’s a human rights defender,” she said in a tweet.

In October 2020, NIA conducted the raids at several locations in the valley including Parvez’s residence and office.

In 2016, Parvez was slapped with the Public Safety Act (PSA). His arrest had come a day after he was barred from travelling to Switzerland to participate in a session of the UN Human Rights Council. He was released after 76 days of  prison.

Parvez is the chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and the programme coordinator of JKCCS. He had lost his leg in a landmine while monitoring the 2004 Parliamentary elections.

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