UN Special Envoy Arrives To Assess Extrajudicial Situations

UN Special Envoy Arrives To Assess Extrajudicial Situations

26 March 2012
Daily Pioneer
Khursheed Wani

Srinagar: Rights activists and victims of violence in Kashmir held separate meetings with United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Christof Heyns who arrived to assess situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in the past more than two decades of conflict. This is the second visit of the UN’s special envoy to Kashmir in the past two years. Contrary to the past practices, the Government of India has allowed UN observers besides the teams of Amnesty International to assess and report the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The UN Rapporteur’s arrival is part of his 15-day visit to India. He would submit interim report of his visit to Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi on March 30. Addressing a Press conference, Heyns said the interim report would be made public on the date of submission. “Afterwards I will submit two more reports to UN General Council”, he said. He said that the Rapporteurs visit different countries to assess human rights situations and subsequently submit the reports to the UN. Chairperson of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) Parveena Ahangar whose son disappeared in the Army custody in 1990 said that during the past 20 years thousands of people have been subjected to enforced disappearance in Kashmir. Ahangar demanded that the UN should force India to make public the fate of thousands of disappeared persons in Kashmir. Noted jurist Zaffar Ahmad Shah told Heyns that Kashmiri people and civil society have been urging the UN to assess the Kashmir situation and prepare a fact based report. “People of the Valley have been pleading for the last two decades that UN should intervene and listen to our grievances. One lakh people have offered sacrifices in Kashmir,” Shah said. Drawing Heyns attention towards 2010 summer agitation Shah said, “As many as 117 protesters were shot dead by the police and troops for allegedly pelting stones. No sane person of the world will allow to fire on minors who pelt stones”. Members of the minority Kashmiri Pandit and Sikh communities also met the UN Rapporteur and discussed the ordeal faced by the members of their community during the past two decades. They demanded impartial probe of the Chattisinghpora, Mehjoor Nagar, Wandhama and Nadimarg massacres.