UN experts call for urgent action in JK

A year after Government of India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, UN human rights experts have called on India and the international community to take urgent action to address the human rights situation in J&K.

“Urgent action is needed,” said the experts as per the statement issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights).

“If India will not take any genuine and immediate steps to resolve the situation, meet their obligations to investigate historic and recent cases of human rights violations and prevent future violations, then the international community should step up,” said the experts: Agnès Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association; Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Fabian Salvioli, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence; Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism; Leigh Toomey (Chair-Rapporteur), Elina Steinerte (Vice-Chair), José Guevara Bermúdez, Seong-Phil Hong, Sètondji Adjovi, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Luciano Hazan (Chair), Tae-Ung Baik (Vice Chair), Bernard Duhaime, Houria Es-Slami, and Henrikas Mickevicius, Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The statement said since the Indian Parliament revoked the constitutionally mandated status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August 2019, “the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir has been in free fall.”

“We are particularly concerned that during the COVID-19 pandemic, many protestors are still in detention and Internet restrictions remain in place,” the UN experts said.