2. Condemning Arrest Of Khurram Parvez, a Kashmiri Human Rights Defender Arrested Under Anti-Terror Laws
Pictured: Khurram Pervez, Twitter @KhurramParvez
Recommendations for the US
November 24th, 2021
Justice For All is deeply concerned about the arrest of Khurram Parvez, an internationally recognized award winning human rights defender known for his ongoing fight against the human rights violations in Kashmir.
Indian counter-terrorism agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), arrested Parvez on November 22nd 2021, and booked him under seven accusations, including “waging war against the state” and “terror funding” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Winner of the 2006 Reebok Human Rights Award and the 2016 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award, Khurram Parvez is a Program Coordinator of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS), one of the most credible human rights organizations that investigates and documents human rights abuses in Indian occupied Kashmir.
Parvez is known for his non-violence advocacy and leading efforts over two decades to document human rights violations in Kashmir. He is also the chairman of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD).
Justice For All believes that Parvez’s arrest is an attempt to terrorize and silence all voices from the civil society of Kashmir. Ten days before his arrest, Indian National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval claimed Kashmir’s civil society is “the next frontier of war.”
Notably, the Indian government arrested Khurram when the probe was ordered in the fake encounter case at Hyderpora under pressure. The Jammu-Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) had raised questions against the killing of four Kashmiris by security forces.
In the mentioned incident, security forces used two civilians as human shields, which resulted in the killing of a dental surgeon and a shopkeeper on November 15th 2021, exactly one week before the human rights defender’s arrest. Later, Indian security forces denied the families access to the bodies, a common brutal practice employed by security forces in Kashmir.
In 2016, Parvez was stopped at Delhi International Airport when he was departing to attend a UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva, and was detained for 76 days under the Public Safety Act (PSA), a law that allows detention without charge for two years. He was released when the court declared his detention illegal.
“Khurram Parvez is a Prisoner of Haqq, a respected friend, who’s only “crime” is defending the human rights of his people facing India’s aggression. We reiterate our stance that India’s government is using arbitrary detention as a settler-colonization tool to continue Kashmir’s colonization,” expressed Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid.
Recommendations for the US
- Justice For All asks the United States State Department to declare India as a Country of particular Concern, according to the recommendations of the United States Commission of International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
- Justice For All demands USCIRF to include Kashmiri prisoners in their list of Religious Prisoners of Conscience, as they are persecuted because of their activism for Indigenous Kashmiris, singled out because they belong to a particular religious group struggling for their right to self-determination.