Activist Khurram’s judicial custody extended till 21 Jan, family demands unconditional release

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Srinagar: The judicial custody of prominent human rights activists Khurram Parvez, who was arrested last month, has been extended till 21 January 2022 while the family awaits for his “unconditional release”.

According to Parvez’s family, he appeared before the court on Thursday after which the court extended his judicial custody till 21 January 2022. Parvez is currently lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar jail.

Parvez was booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and other multiple charges after National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 22 November raided his residence and office in Srinagar. He initially spent 12 days under NIA custody before being taken into judicial detention.

Speaking to The Kashmir Walla, Parvez’s wife Sameena Mir said that the family is waiting for her husband’s “unconditional release”.  

“We are reliving the horror of his detention yet again and are waiting for his unconditional release,” Mir said. “His judicial custody has been extended till 21 January. We are yet to visit him in jail.”

Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Mir said that after Parvez’s arrest, her children are seeking the whereabouts of their father. 

“Ayra, our 3yr old daughter, is an inquisitive child, askng whr Khurram is. I m telling her from Day1 that he’ll b back soon. Inshallah, he’ll. In the meantime, our children wl grow more confident, humble, emotionally aware, compassionate like thr doting father #FreeKhurramParvez(sic),” Mir said.

According to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 120B is a punishment for criminal conspiracy.  121 is a waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India (GoI), while 121A conspiracy to commit offences punishable by section 121.

Similarly, section 17 of UAPA is a punishment for raising funds for terrorist act.  Section 18 is a punishment for conspiracy, while 18B is punishment for recruiting any person or persons for terrorist acts.

Section 38 of UAPA is an offence relating to membership of a terrorist organization, while section 40 is an offence of raising funds for a terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, national and international rights bodies, activists and politicians continue to demand the immediate release of Parvez.

On Wednesday this week, more than 28 British Parliamentarians wrote a joint letter to the Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK) expressing their concerns over Parvez’s incarceration and sought an explanation for his detention.

On Thursday, British musician and founding member of the former rock band Pink Floyd Roger Waters also called out Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the arrest of Parvez.

“Hey Modi, leave Khurram alone!” the musician said while retweeting a tweet demanding the release of the activist.

Earlier, on Wednesday, a Twitter storm was started by various human rights organisations calling on the Government of India to release the activist on an immediate basis as the activist had completed a month under detention

The campaign was initially started by Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) for two days- December 21, and 22, urging the GoI for the activist’s release.

Earlier, the United Nations also expressed concern over the arrest of Parvez and called for his release.

“We are deeply concerned at the arrest of Kashmiri human rights defender Khurram Parvez under Indian counter-terrorism legislation, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA),” the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a statement.

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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