Justice For All calls for the release of Kashmiri prisoners on compassionate grounds
Justice for All is extremely concerned about the continued detention and well-being of thousands of Kashmiris who have been held in jails in Jammu Kashmir and India, both before and after the 5th August 2019 revocation of Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status.
We support the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association of Srinagar’s demand to release Kashmiri prisoners. On June 2nd, 2021, the Jammu & Kashmir High Court Bar Association of Srinagar expressed distress over the deteriorating health of Kashmiri political leaders, imprisoned in Tihar jail, New Delhi. These prisoners were detained for speaking up against the Indian occupation of Kashmir and have been held without due process. Amongst them are Shabbir Shah who has been in prison for over 30 years, Asiya Andrabi, journalist Asif Sultan, Nahida Nasreen, Mohammad Yaseen Malik, Nayeem Khan, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Aftab Hilali, and others.
According to some of the prisoners’ families, several Kashmiri prisoners are living under life-threatening conditions. The Bar Association raised concerns over the prison authorities’ lack of empathy and disregard for the safety and well-being of the prisoners. The failure to provide necessary medical treatment for prisoners, in addition to the inability to safeguard them from the coronavirus by housing them in cramped coronavirus infested jails in India and Jammu Kashmir, is inhumane and violates their human rights.
Justice For All demands the release of the 14,000 Kashmiri prisoners. We implore the United Nations, the US Senate, the US Congress, and human rights organizations to do whatever is necessary to facilitate the well-being and release of Kashmiri prisoners. Justice for All, particularly, demands the release of prisoners of conscience and especially whose personal health and families are being adversely impacted by their imprisonment.