United Nations Calls Upon India To Release Veteran Kashmiri Muslim Activist
The United Nations has expressed concern over the arrest of Khurram Parvez, a prominent Kashmiri rights activist who was arrested under a stringent “anti-terror” law by the Indian authorities and has called for his release.
“We are deeply concerned at the arrest of Kashmiri human rights defender Khurram Parvez under Indian counter-terrorism legislation, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA),” the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a statement on December 1. Under the UAPA, a person can be detained for months without charge.
The UN rights body has demanded amendment in the law to bring it in line with the international human rights law and standards. Parvez, 44, is the coordinator of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a local human rights group.
He was arrested on November 22 by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) and booked for alleged “terror funding” and other charges. The NIA had earlier raided his residence and office in Srinagar, the main city in Muslim-majority Kashmir.
India’s foreign ministry on December 2 said the UN statement on Parvez’s arrest “makes baseless and unfounded allegations against law enforcement authorities and security forces of India” and “betrays a complete lack of understanding” on the part of the UN body regarding the “security challenges faced by India from cross-border terrorism”.
Parvez is a recipient of the 2006 Reebok Human Rights Award. His arrest has been widely criticized by rights groups around the globe, including Amnesty International. The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), a global network of more than 200 non-governmental organisations or NGOs, said it was “deeply concerned about the high risk of torture while in custody.” Parvez has been moved to a jail in the Indian capital New Delhi.
Hindu Extremist Assault Muslim Man On Way To Mosque In Jharkhand
Hindu extremists assaulted a Muslim man in Jharkhand state on November 28, beating him up ruthlessly and leaving him grievously injured as he was on his way to offer the namaz at a mosque.
Adil Hussain had stepped out of his house to offer the evening namaz at the mosque when the extremists waylaid him. Reports said Adil, who suffers from schizophrenia, was hospitalized after the attack. His brother Sahil Hussain said Adil was tied, beaten ruthlessly and left for dead. Sahil said his brother was attacked because he sported a beard and wore the skullcap. The police have filed a case against three Hindu men, who are on the run.
Karnataka Police Deny Permission To Hindu Comedian Critical Of Hindu Nationalism
Close on the heels of denying permission to a Muslim stand-up comedian, Munawar Faruqui, citing law and order problems, the police in Karnataka state have denied permission to a Hindu stand-up comedian, Kunal Kamra, to stage his shows in Bengaluru, the state’s capital and largest city.
Kamra is a vocal critic of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and the ideology of Hindu nationalism that Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) professes. Kamra wrote on Twitter: “Hello Bengaluru People. I am happy to inform you that my shows in Bengaluru scheduled over the next 20 days have been cancelled. They have been cancelled for two reasons. Firstly, we didn’t get special permission to seat 45 people in the venue that seats more.
Secondly threats have been made to shut down the venue if I were to perform. I guess this is also part of the Covid protocol and new guidelines. I suppose I am seen as a variant of the virus now. For those who were wondering how ‘A Kamra’ goes on the perform while a Faruqui has had to quit comedy’ we can find solace in the fact that the ruling class is at least trying to oppress with equality.”