UN releases first-ever human rights report on Kashmir, calls for international probe into violations

The 49-page report – the first ever issued by the UN on the human rights situation in Indian-Administered and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir – details human rights violations and abuses on both sides of the Line of Control, and highlights a situation of chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces.

GK Web Desk
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jun 14 2018 1:41PM | Updated Date: Jun 14 2018 2:46PM
UN releases first-ever human rights report on Kashmir, calls for international probe into violationsFile Photo

There is an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and deliver justice for all people in Kashmir, who for seven decades have suffered a conflict that has claimed or ruined numerous lives.

This was stated in a report by the United Nations Human Rights Office published on Thursday.

The 49-page report – the first ever issued by the UN on the human rights situation in Indian-Administered and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir – details human rights violations and abuses on both sides of the Line of Control, and highlights a situation of chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces.

“The political dimensions of the dispute between India and Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

“This is why any resolution of the political situation in Kashmir must entail a commitment to end the cycles of violence and ensure accountability for past and current violations and abuses by all parties, and provide redress for victims,” he said.

“It is also why I will be urging the UN Human Rights Council to consider establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir,” said Zeid.

Noting the continuing serious tensions in recent weeks, including those stemming from a series of incidents in Srinagar, he called on “Indian security forces to exercise maximum restraint, and strictly abide by international standards governing the use of force when dealing with future protests, including ones that could well occur this coming weekend.”

“It is essential the Indian authorities take immediate and effective steps to avoid a repetition of the numerous examples of excessive use of force by security forces in Kashmir,” Zeid said.

“The UN Human Rights Office – which, despite repeated requests to both India and Pakistan over the past two years, has not been given unconditional access to either side of the Line of Control – undertook remote monitoring to produce the report, which covers both Indian-Administered Kashmir and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir,” a statement issued on its website said.

About the report, it said the main focus of the report is the human rights situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir from July 2016 - when large and unprecedented demonstrations erupted after Indian security forces killed the leader of an armed group - to April 2018.

“Indian security forces used excessive force that led to unlawful killings and a very high number of injuries, the report says, citing civil society estimates that up to 145 civilians were killed by the security forces between mid-July 2016 and the end of March 2018, with up to 20 other civilians killed by armed groups in the same period,” it said.

It said one of the most dangerous weapons used against protesters in 2016 – and which is still being employed by security forces – was the pellet-firing shotgun. According to official figures, 17 people were killed by shotgun pellets between July 2016 and August 2017, and 6,221 people were injured by the metal pellets between 2016 and March 2017.

“Civil society organizations believe that many of them have been partially or completely blinded.”

“Impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the report says, noting that the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990 (AFSPA) and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act 1978 (PSA) have “created structures that obstruct the normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardize the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations.”

The AFSPA prohibits prosecution of security forces personnel unless the Indian Government grants prior permission to prosecute, it noted.

“This gives security forces virtual immunity against prosecution for any human rights violation. In the nearly 28 years that the law has been in force in Jammu and Kashmir there has not been a single prosecution of armed forces personnel granted by the central government,” the report says.

There is also almost total impunity for enforced or involuntary disappearances, with little movement towards credibly investigating complaints, including into alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region, it said.

Citing Kunan-Poshpora mass rape it said chronic impunity for sexual violence also remains a key concern in Kashmir. “An emblematic case is the Kunan-Poshpora mass rape 27 years ago when, according to survivors, soldiers gang-raped 23 women.”

“Attempts to seek justice have been denied and blocked over the years at different levels,” the report says.

Latest News

  1. Thousands march with bodies of two slain militants, civilian in Srinagar
  2. Thousands march with bodies of two slain militants, civilian in Srinagar
  1. 18 killed in Crimea college attack
  2. 18 killed in Crimea college attack
  1. Militant arrested in police chase after Pattan grenade attack
  2. Militant arrested in police chase after Pattan grenade attack
  1. Suspected militants attack army camp in Rafiabad
  2. Suspected militants attack army camp in Rafiabad
  1. Pakistan may buy Chinese missile 'better' than Brahmos
  2. Pakistan may buy Chinese missile 'better' than Brahmos
  1. Civilian injured in landmine blast near LoC in Mendhar
  2. Civilian injured in landmine blast near LoC in Mendhar
  1. Haj 2019 application process to start from Thursday
  2. Haj 2019 application process to start from Thursday
  1. MeToo campaign: M J Akbar resigns from government
  2. MeToo campaign: M J Akbar resigns from government
  1. Kashmiri students defer decision to leave AMU en masse
  2. Kashmiri students defer decision to leave AMU en masse
  1. 69 per cent of 598 wards in Kashmir Valley did not witness polling
  2. 69 per cent of 598 wards in Kashmir Valley did not witness polling
  1. Militants should not expect bouquets if they fire bullets: Governor Satya Pal Malik
  2. Militants should not expect bouquets if they fire bullets: Governor Satya Pal Malik
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Role of Rayees Ahmad being investigated, says police
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Role of Rayees Ahmad being investigated, says police
  1. Death toll in cyclone-hit Odisha rises to 52; damage put at Rs 2,200 crore
  2. Death toll in cyclone-hit Odisha rises to 52; damage put at Rs 2,200 crore
  1. Break your silence on Rafale deal: Congress tells Modi
  2. Break your silence on Rafale deal: Congress tells Modi
  1. Stay away from Fateh Kadal gunfight site: Kashmir Police issues advisory
  2. Stay away from Fateh Kadal gunfight site: Kashmir Police issues advisory
  1. UN allocates $34.6mn for drought-affected Afghans
  2. UN allocates $34.6mn for drought-affected Afghans
  1. Police officer among three cops injured in Pattan grenade attack
  2. Police officer among three cops injured in Pattan grenade attack
  1. Soldier arrested in Meerut for espionage
  2. Soldier arrested in Meerut for espionage
  1. JRL calls protest shutdown in Kashmir on Thursday
  2. JRL calls protest shutdown in Kashmir on Thursday
  1. Blast hits Afghan poll candidate's office
  2. Blast hits Afghan poll candidate's office
  1. Top LeT militant Mehraj Bangroo among four killed in Fateh Kadal gunfight: Police
  2. Top LeT militant Mehraj Bangroo among four killed in Fateh Kadal gunfight: Police
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Two slain militants identified as Mehraj Bangroo, Faid Mushtaq Waza
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Two slain militants identified as Mehraj Bangroo, Faid Mushtaq Waza
  1. KEG condemns attack on journalists in Fateh Kadal, demands action against guilty cops
  2. KEG condemns attack on journalists in Fateh Kadal, demands action against guilty cops
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight over; two militants, civilian, policeman killed
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight over; two militants, civilian, policeman killed
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight fallout: Intense clashes break out in Khanyar
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight fallout: Intense clashes break out in Khanyar
  1. Pakistan serial killer executed for raping, murdering 7-year-old girl
  2. Pakistan serial killer executed for raping, murdering 7-year-old girl
  1. Traffic temporarily suspended on Srinagar-Leh highway after fresh snowfall
  2. Traffic temporarily suspended on Srinagar-Leh highway after fresh snowfall
  1. Kashmir Press club condemns thrashing of journalists near Fateh Kadal gunfight site
  2. Kashmir Press club condemns thrashing of journalists near Fateh Kadal gunfight site
  1. Forces thrash journalists near gunfight site in Fateh Kadal
  2. Forces thrash journalists near gunfight site in Fateh Kadal
  1. Mysterious blast creates panic in Sopore in north Kashmir
  2. Mysterious blast creates panic in Sopore in north Kashmir
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Class work suspended at Kashmir University
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Class work suspended at Kashmir University
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight fallout: Schools, colleges closed in Srinagar
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight fallout: Schools, colleges closed in Srinagar
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Internet service suspended in Srinagar
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Internet service suspended in Srinagar
  1. Gunfight breaks out in Fateh Kadal area of Srinagar; Internet suspended, educational institutions closed
  2. Gunfight breaks out in Fateh Kadal area of Srinagar; Internet suspended, educational institutions closed
x
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine