New Delhi. 06 August 2020. “We have noted that China initiated a discussion in the UN Security Council on issues pertaining to the Indian Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. This was not the first time that China has sought to raise a subject that is solely an internal matter of India. As on such previous occasions, this attempt too met with little support from the international community. We firmly reject China’s interference in our internal affairs and urge it to draw proper conclusions from such infructuous attempts,” said an official statement by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
This is in response to a discussion initiated by statement by UNSC and published by United Nations on its website. UN-appointed independent human rights experts have called for urgent action in India’s Jammu and Kashmir, amid concerns of ongoing abuses against civilians there.
The appeal comes a year after the Indian Parliament revoked the special status of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, which provided partial autonomy and specific protections to its mainly-Muslim citizens.
In a statement, the group of 17 experts said that the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir has been in “free fall”. “Urgent action is needed”, they said. “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.”
“Twelve months ago, they wrote to the Indian authorities to end what they called “the crackdown” on freedom of expression, access to information and peaceful protests over the decision to end the state’s special status. The experts also expressed concern about alleged arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment, to which the Government recently replied, as well as the criminalization of journalists covering the situation and the detention and deteriorating health, of a high-profile human rights lawyer,” it stated. “We have yet to receive any reply to three of the four letters,” the experts said.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the experts also said it was concerning that “many” protesters are still in detention, and that internet restrictions remain. They added that the closure of the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission last October, was equally disturbing, as it removed one of the few ways that victims of rights violations could seek remedy.No information had been provided about what would happen to the ongoing cases the commission had been investigating. These include hundreds of suspected enforced disappearances dating from as far back as 1989, they said, while allegations regarding thousands of unmarked and some mass graves sites, have also not been properly investigated,” the statement added.