Resistance is Existence
September 20, 2016
Press Release from the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organization
The Coordination of Democratic Rights Organization denounces the arrest of Khurram Parvez on the intervening night of September 15-16 at 12.30 a.m. from his house in Srinagar. He had returned from Delhi on the very morning of September 15 after being detained for nearly two hours and prevented from travelling to Geneva for the UN Human Rights Council's meeting.
Khurram Parvez is chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances and coordinator of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS). Reports say that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was not aware of the arrest. The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police have refused to specify the charges against him and it is unofficially said that he has been taken into preventive detention.
We fear his detention under the draconian Public Safety Act, which has seen thousands of Kashmiri people suffered under years of detention without being charge-sheeted for having committed any crime.
His arrest is a signal to civil society in J&K to become mute over the gross and egregious atrocities inflicted on the people and violation of all international humanitarian laws and the rights conferred by the Indian constitution. The spree of killings since July 8 2016 has seen 84 dead, the blinding by pellet guns of more than 200, injuries to more than 12,000 persons, night raids, the arrest of more than 1000 persons, and now the renewal of the dreadful army "Operation Calm Down" in south Kashmir.
These are all hallmarks of a ruthless and illegitimate authority trying, yet again, to militarily suppress a people whose eminently democratic demand is that they be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination.
Crimes and acts of brutality committed by the Indian state were documented by JKCCS, and through their rigorous research and analysis were brought before the public. Their reports on mass graves, enforced disappearances, massacres, rapes, custodial killings, etc. are testimony to their labour. They took up and fought cases legally by moving the judiciary, as in the Handwara girl case recently, which exposed the police leadership for their torture of a juvenile girl who was illegally in their custody. It is to silence such voices from highlighting the brutal military operations currently underway in Kashmir that the Indian state is cracking down on them. Our rulers are scared the Truth will singe them, and therefore do not want the Indian public to know anything about what soldiers are being made to do to crush civil disobedience by the populace.
We appeal to India's democratic minded that their silence and conspicuous absence of outrage over the crimes inflicted on people in Kashmir and the arbitrary arrests, an ongoing saga, are encouraging the Indian state and its clones in the media to persist with their sinister policy, distorting the real story of the 68-year-long struggle of the people of J&K against oppression and manipulative politics. These seven decades of military suppression have not erased the demand for a referendum: and we urge everyone to take heed of the unsuppressible mood of the people. We therefore appeal to democratically minded Indians to stand up against oppression, and support the right to self-determination of all the "state subjects" of J&K, so as to bring to a close India's horrific seven-decade-old record of crimes committed against the people.
We demand the government
1. Unconditionally release Khurram Parvez;
2. Withdraw all legal immunity given to security forces;
3. Ban the use of pellet guns;
4. Release all the arrested;
5. Restore the civil liberties of the people;
6. Begin the process of demilitarisation; and
7. Begin the political process for ascertaining the democratic will of all the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Coordinators of CDRO: C. Chandrasekhar (CLC, Andhra Pradesh), Asish Gupta (PUDR, Delhi), Pritpal Singh (AFDR, Punjab), Phulendro Konsam (COHR, Manipur) and Tapas Chakraborty (APDR, West Bengal).
Constituent Organisations: Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR, Punjab), Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR, West Bengal); Asansol Civil Rights Association, West Bengal; Bandi Mukti Committee (BMC, West Bengal); Civil Liberties Committee (CLC, Andhra Pradesh); Civil Liberties Committee (CLC, Telangana); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR, Maharashtra); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR, Tamil Nadu); Coordination for Human Rights (COHR, Manipur); Human Rights Forum (HRF, Andhra Pradesh & Telengana); Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS, Assam); Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR); Organisation for Protection of Democratic Rights (OPDR, Andhra Pradesh); Peoples’ Committee for Human Rights (PCHR, Jammu and Kashmir); Peoples Democratic Forum (PDF, Karnataka); Jharkhand Council for Democratic Rights (JCDR, Jharkhand); Peoples Union For Democratic Rights (PUDR, Delhi); Peoples Union for Civil Rights (PUCR, Haryana), Campaign for Peace & Democracy in Manipur (CPDM), Delhi.
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