January 2003 News

AI concerned over arrest of Kashmiri leaders

7 January 2003
The Dawn

LONDON: Amnesty International, a human rights watchdog, has expressed concern over the detention of many Kashmiri leaders in the Indian- held Kashmir (IHK) and said it had taken up the issue with the Indian government. 'We are concerned over the high-level of immunity in the state. There have been hundreds of cases of human rights violations. We have raised the issue with the government of India and the government of Jammu and Kashmir in public and private,' a spokesperson of Amnesty International told newsmen here on Tuesday. It must be recalled here that many Kashmiri leaders are currently detained by the Indian authorities in IHK and some of them have failing health due to the bad treatment being meted out to them. The spokesperson said that the AI had not received any response from them so far. To another question the spokesperson said that the AI had an outstanding request with New Delhi to give it access to the IHK but had so far received no response. Amnesty International on Tuesday expressed its disappointment over reports that the puppet regime of Indian-held Kashmir had changed its mind to investigate in custodial deaths and human rights violations there. 'The organization is disappointed that the government may be retreating from its commitment to uphold human rights,' said the Amnesty International. It is 'disturbed by recent press reports' that the puppet regime might go back on its recent pledge 'to investigate all reported cases of custodial killings and violations of human rights and to identify and punish appropriately those found responsible'. Kashmiris, who observed a day of self-determination on Jan 5, had strongly condemned the massive human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.-APP


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