Incidents of military and police violence against civilians continue in Kashmir: UN

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United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has said that in Kashmir, after over a year since her last report on Kashmir “incidents of military and police violence against civilians continue, including use of pellet guns, as well as incidents related to militancy,”

In a statement issued Mrs. Bachelet has also said that, “Major legal changes – including to the Constitution and domicile rules – are generating deep anxiety, but the space for political debate and public participation continues to be severely restricted, particularly since new media rules have prohibited vaguely defined “anti-national” reporting,”

She welcomed the release of some political leaders,  “I welcome the release of some political and community leaders, hundreds of people remain in arbitrary detention, with many habeas corpus petitions still pending – including those of many of Jammu and Kashmir’s political leaders.   I welcome the initiatives to extend services to remote areas, and the recent conditional restoration of full Internet connectivity in two districts – which should be applied promptly to the rest of Jammu and Kashmir,”

Adding that on the Pakistan side, people also have limited Internet access, creating difficulties in accessing education and other vital services. “I remain concerned about ongoing restrictions to the rights to freedom of expression and association. My Office is committed to continuing its engagement with both India and Pakistan, to uphold the rights of the Kashmiri people – which is the best way to prevent further tensions and conflict.”

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