ICHR holds events on Kashmir situation

International Council for Human Rights (ICHR) & International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM) organize parallel events within and outside the Palai des Nations, Geneva by erecting the military tent under the theme – Kashmir UN Week – Killing Fields of Indian Held Kashmir – And by holding the conference on “International Human Rights Norms and the Crowd Control”

Geneva, Sunday 19 September 2010 – ICHR Kashmir Centre EU once again embarked on an unprecedented activity here at Geneva by installing a military tent outside the Palais des Nations near the famous three legged chair. The tent, once again, signifies the continued occupation of Jammu & Kashmir by India and its military and para military forces. The theme of the tent – Killing Fields of Indian Held Kashmir – directly relate to the current state terrorism perpetrated by the Indian Forces in the occupied territory. Whereas inside the tent represent the scene of martyrdom however, outer part of the tent register the names of all those who have been martyred between 11th June to 6th September 2010 identifying the date of killing of each martyr. Hundreds have visited the tent over the last two days including journalists, diplomats, NGOs and tourists. Analysts see it as a major source of compromising the image of democratic India and representing a total reality on ground in the Occupied Kashmir.

Inside the Palais des Nations, IHRAAM conducted a conference on “International Human Rights Norms and the Crowd Control” chaired by    Barrister A. Majid Tramboo Chief Patron of JKLF(R) & Chairman of the ICHR Kashmir Centre.EU. The panelists included analysts, human rights experts and journalists.

In his opening remarks Barrister Tramboo stated that one of the fundamental human rights is that of freedom of expression that in many instances comes in the form of a protest or demonstration. Indeed, in such situations the good and or bad practices of the police force becomes an issue particularly where violence is used to quell a legitimate protest. He pointed out that the current spree of unmitigated use of live ammunition and teargas by the Indian military and para-military forces in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) is in direct response of widespread peaceful assemblies across IHK dissenting the suppression of 64 years demand for the right of self-determination. The forces have brutalized each peaceful assembly without provocation with the knowledge and tacit sanction of the government of India thereby effecting gross human rights violations to maintain militarized occupation and governance.

Prof. Nazir A Shawl, Executive Director Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre London, declared himself worried of what Indian Police is doing. “They are beating our people with their plastic sticks. They are killing us. They are violating all norms of civilized behaviour nor respect shown to international law”. There is a real crisis situation. Armed Forces special power act and other draconian laws  are used as licence to kill. He appealed to the international community to save the suffering Kashmiris and facilitate a result oriented dialogue between the people of Kashmir, India and Pakistan to bring peace to region and to resolve the dispute.

Kashmir was presented as a “human tragedy” in a direct testimony by an Italian journalist Ms. Francesca Marino (Limes, L’Espresso), who has just returned from Srinagar. Ms. Marino described in detail the repression that is being perpetrated by Indian police in particular against students and innocent people, like very young children, who take part in peaceful manifestations to roar their own message of freedom.

“Is it too late to do something?” asked Mr. PJ Mir, a political analyst and the Head of ARY News.  “Peace is never too late”, he declared. But at the same time he lamented that there is calculated genocide taking place in Indian Held Kashmir and “Kashmiris are being hunted like animals by Indian police force”. He asked Indian leadership to demonstrate political will  and redeem the right of self determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Mr. Mir emphasised that the role of Kashmir Centres in highlighting the Kashmiris tragedy is more crucial now.

Alfred de Zayas of Public and International Law Geneva School of Diplomacy & International Relations, focused on the contradictions of India. He pointed out that one hand India is a democracy but on the other hand it is enforcing excesses on the people of Kashmir. Referring to the international law he said that every restriction must be justified otherwise it does not fall within the ambit of humanitarian law and it could be in direct contravention of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. He insisted that the UN norms through special rapporteurs, working groups and committees must be invoked in order to engage the mandates and the countries involved.

Mr. Roland Barnes of International Peoples and Nations Coalition considered the parallelism between his own people and Kashmiris. But recognised that there was no violence against the indigenous people of Alaska.  “It is important that meetings like these take place in the UN to continue to raise the issue and to keep it in the limelight.

During the debate, Malanie Sadini of CORCAS highlighted the issues surrounding the Polisario Front  which she described as an authoritarian force.

The conference concluded by adopting a statement that the international human rights norms demand that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms and that the right of peaceful assembly must be recognised with no restrictions placed on the exercise of this right and that the people of Jammu and Kashmir under the occupation of India are no exception to this.