In and Out of Prison for 34 years, Never Convicted Of A Crime
The Nelson Mandela of Kashmir
Date Of Birth: June 14, 1953
Kashmiri Male (Anantnag)
Place of Birth: Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir
Place of Imprisonment: Tihar Jail, Delhi, India
Charges: Never been convicted of a crime
Urgent Health Concerns: COVID-19, severe weakness, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension
Shabir Shah, 67, one of the most popular and respected political leaders in Indian Administered Kashmir, is currently serving out the 35th year of his detention. Born in 1953, Shah was arrested and detained for the first time in 1968 for organizing a protest against the Indian Government to demand self-determination for Kashmiris. In 1993, Amnesty International declared him a Prisoner of Conscience after a thorough investigation. In 1995, Shah was offered the post of chief minister of the autonomous State of Kashmir by then Indian Prime Minister. Shah is also called Nelson Mandela of Kashmir.
Watch & Share Interview With His Daughter: Seher Shah
“His continuing detention is a tactic to break his resistance. The government thinks that if they keep him away from us and make us all suffer, he will agree to remaining silent. Even though he is concerned about our daughters who rarely see their father, he will not desert his principles.” – Dr. Bilqees Shah, wife of Shabbir Shah
About Shabir Shah
Bio: Leader of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party. Ghulam Mohammed Varrier, Shah’s father, died in police custody as a Block Development Officer
Immediate Health Concerns: Conditions have worsened in the jails because of Covid-19 (Especially vulnerable because of heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Also, severe weakness and back issues because of long periods of imprisonment). Medical reports indicate he should receive immediate attention.
“A high-powered committee constituted to de-congest jails to prevent the spread of Covid-19 has said there is a need to release prisoners on interim bail for 90 days or eight weeks parole in view of the ‘alarming’ and ‘threatening’ situation of the pandemic in the national capital.”
Alleged Crime and Imprisonment
Imprisonment: Has spent his life peacefully advocating for the right to Kashmiri self-determination. First jailed at 14 years of age, in and out of prison as a result of organizing protests/dissent against the Indian government.
Alleged Crime: Currently imprisoned because of alleged money laundering from Pakistan to create unrest in Kashmir
Bail: no bail
Real Crime: Advocating for the rights and self-determination of his people
Timeline of Arrests
Shabir Shah, 67, one of the most popular and respected political leaders in Indian Administered Kashmir, is currently serving out the 35th year of his detention.
Influence and Recognition
Has been recognized by Amnesty International as a “prisoner of conscience” or in other words, “a person holding political or religious beliefs that are not tolerated by their government.
The traditional Hindu-Muslim brotherhood in Jammu should not get undermined.Shabir Shah
India is quite aware of the consequences of war but is deliberately trying to keep up the skirmishes on the LOC so as to divert the attention of the world away from the real issue.Shabir Shah
We do not accept any solution to the Kashmir issue in which the people of Kashmir are not a party.Shabir Shah
India and Pakistan are definitely parties to the issue, but the major party is the people of the [Kashmir] state, and without their active participation, nothing can be achieved.Shabir Shah
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