Intellectuals accross world call for release of Khurram Parvez

Acclaimed writers, academics and human rights activities from across the world have called for the immediate release of Khurram Parvez, a “distinguished and courageous human rights defender.
Intellectuals accross world call for release of Khurram Parvez
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Acclaimed writers, academics and human rights activities from across the world have called for the immediate release of Khurram Parvez, a "distinguished and courageous human rights defender."

In an open letter to the civil society seeking their support for the release of Parvez, the intellectuals say: "As we write this, Khurram Parvez has been remanded to preventive custody in a sub-jail in the highly militarized Kupwara district of Kashmir. He is expected to be produced before the court on 21 September 2016."

Preeminent signatories–academics, activists, lawyers and writers–to the appeal include: Abdul R. Jan Mohamed, Amitava Kumar, Angana Chatterji, Ania Loomba, Arundhati Roy, Basharat Peer, Basil Fernando, Bijo Francis,Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Gautam Navlakha, Ghazi Shahnawaz, Gloria Steinem, Harsh Mander, Kavita Krishnan, Manisha Sethi, Mary Aileen Diez Bacalso, Mihir Desai, Mirza Waheed, Mridu Rai, Noam Chomsky, Paola Bacchetta, Paramjit Kaur Khalra, Partha Chatterjee, Rajvinder Singh Bains, Richard M. Buxbaum, Ruchira Gupta, Sanjay Kak, Shabnam Hashmi, Shohini Ghosh, Suddhabrata Sengupta, SuvirKaul, Teesta Setalvad, Urvashi Butalia, Veena Das and Vrinda Grover.

"An executive magistrate in Srinagar issued the order against Khurram Parvez, invoking Sections 107 and 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) (pertaining to detention for breach of peace and design to commit a cognizable offence)," the letter reads.

"The actions against Parvez are symptomatic of the escalated repression in Kashmir by institutions of state since July 8.

"We note with horror that since July 2016, over 80 persons have been killed, over 11,000 persons have been injured, over 1,000 persons arrested and over 100 ambulances attacked. For 70 days now, curfew has been imposed in various parts of Kashmir.

"Pellet cartridges with about 400-500 pellets each have been fired, aimed above the waist, permanently blinding youth at civilian protests. Communication systems have been repeatedly shutdown; mobile Internet and pre-paid calls have been repeatedly banned, post-paid phone lines have been suspended for a number of days, and even newspapers have been shutdown for a couple of days.

"The rights to freedom of speech and movement and the right to dissent and self-determination are being imperilled.

"We are gravely concerned by the repeated abrogation of international law and the disregard for India's constitutional provisions, and by the unceasing targeting of civilians and the continued denial of their civil and political rights.

"We urge that the above conditions of collective internment within Kashmir require urgent attention and intervention," the letter, which has been signed by 52 intellectuals, reads.

Parvez was arrested and detained on September 16 in Srinagar, Kashmir.

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