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Back Activities Alerts Action Alert: Kashmir – Speak out against arbitrary detention of Muslim League leader

Action Alert: Kashmir – Speak out against arbitrary detention of Muslim League leader

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Mushtaq-ul-Islam re-arrested by Indian authorities after being released from years of detention

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action Required
4. Sample letter
5. Addresses for sample letters

1. Summary

After only 5 days of being released, Muslim League leader Mushtaq-ul-Islam was detained again under India’s draconian Public Safety Act. This law has been regularly used to detain innocent people and runs contrary to what it claims to be.

Write to your Indian High Commissioner and foreign secretary to bring such an injustice to their attention. Help ensure these arbitrary detentions are brought to an end in Jammu and Kashmir.

2. Background

Mushtaq-ul-Islam, leader of the Muslim League in Jammu and Kashmir, was first arrested by Indian authorities in November 2010. His arrest was based on his views of self-determination for the Kashmiri people. Laws under India’s Public Safety Act, which has been deemed illegal by human rights activists, were used to legitimise the arrest.

For almost two years, the leader was relocated to several prisons including Udhampur, KotBilwal Jammu and Srinagar Central jail. He was finally released on 14 July 2012.

Five days later, Mushtaq-ul-Islam was minutes away from addressing a news conference in a hotel in Srinagar when police authorities arrested him once again. They brutally covered his mouth with a cloth and pushed him into a vehicle. He is currently being held in Kothi Bagh police station. They claim he was on the verge of delivering a highly provocative speech that would breach the peace. The anticipated speech however was going to reveal the difficult prison conditions and the poor treatment Mushtaq ul-Islam suffered throughout his detention. There is no sign of his imminent release.

Such actions by the police should not be allowed to continue in a country that claims to be the largest democracy in the world. They have incessantly clamped down on the Kashmiri people’s freedom of expression and right to autonomy. This is yet another example of the injustice they face. 

3. Action Required

Write to the following authorities requesting to urge the Indian government to end the detention of innocent Kashmiri civilians like Mushtaq-ul-Islam.

a) Minister of foreign affairs in your country, urging him/her to raise this issue with his/her Indian counterpart. UK campaigners will find the appropriate address, fax and email on the sample letter below.

b) Indian Deputy High Commissioner in your country. UK campaigners will find the appropriate address and email on the sample letter below.

a. Minister of foreign affairs in your country. (UK campaigners can write using the address supplied below, fax: +44 (0)20 7839 2417 or email: private.office@fco.gov.uk)

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Rt. Hon. William Hague
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London, SW1A 2AH

Dear Mr. Hague,

Re:  Re-arrest of Muslim League leader, Mushtaq-ul-Islam in Kashmir

I am deeply concerned over the ongoing violence and arbitrary detention that is taking place in India-occupied Kashmir. For decades, Indian troops have committed barbaric acts of violence towards Kashmiri civilians.  Thousands of men have been arrested, tortured and murdered having committed no crime.

One such actis the re-arrest of the Muslim League’s leader, Mushtaq-ul-Islam. He was detained for almost two years since November 2010 and was only recently released. Mushtaq-ul-Islam was minutes away from addressing a news conference in a hotel in Srinagar when police authorities arrested him once again. They brutally covered his mouth with a cloth and pushed him into a vehicle. He is currently being held in KothiBagh police station. They claim he was on the verge of delivering a highly provocative speech that would breach the peace. The anticipated speech however was going to reveal the difficult prison conditions and the poor treatment ul-Islam suffered throughout his detention. There is no sign of his imminent release.

I urge you to call on your Indian counterparts to look into the matter and put an end to such shameful acts. This ongoing oppression of individuals which is a clear violation of human rights law must not be tolerated by the British government who claims to stand for justice. Please call on the Indian government to at least provide the Kashmiri people with their basic human rights and their ability to express themselves freely without the fear of arrest or torture.

I look forward to hearing back from you regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]

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b. Indian Deputy High Commissioner in your country. (UK campaigners can write using the address supplied below, email: ukemb@mofa.gov.sa)

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Deputy High Commissioner Mr Rajesh N. Prasad
India House
Aldwych
London
WC2B 4NA

Your Excellency,

Re: Re-arrest of Muslim League leader, Mushtaq-ul-Islam in Kashmir

I am deeply concerned over the ongoing violence and arbitrary detention that is taking place in India-occupied Kashmir. For decades, Indian troops have committed barbaric acts of violence towards Kashmiri civilians.  Thousands of men have been arrested, tortured and murdered having committed no crime.

One such act is the re-arrest of the Muslim League’s leader, Mushtaq-ul-Islam. He was detained for almost two years since November 2010 and was only recently released. Mushtaq-ul-Islam was minutes away from addressing a news conference in a hotel in Srinagar when police authorities arrested him once again. They brutally covered his mouth with a cloth and pushed him into a vehicle. He is currently being held in KothiBagh police station. They claim he was on the verge of delivering a highly provocative speech that would breach the peace. The anticipated speech however was going to reveal the difficult prison conditions and the poor treatment Mushtaq ul-Islam suffered throughout his detention. There is no sign of his imminent release.

I urge you to call on the Indian government to look into the matter and provide answers to why this is occurring. Such actions by the police should not be allowed to continue in a country that claims to be the largest democracy in the world. The police have incessantly clamped down on the Kashmiri people’s freedom of expression and right to autonomy. This is in violation of the international human rights covenant that was signed by the state of India. Following the suffering of the Indian people throughout their colonial history, one would further expect a maturity on the part of Indian authorities to not utilise the same strategies that were employed in their past. Mushtaq-ul-Islam must be released from his arbitrary detention immediately.

I look forward to hearing back from you regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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5. Addresses for sample letters

a) Minister of foreign affairs in Canada.

Canadian campaigners can write to:

Minister of Foreign Affairs – John Baird
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON, Canada
K1A 0G2

Telephone:  613-995-1851

b) Minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia

Australian campaigners can write to:

The Hon Bob Carr MP
PO Box 6100
Senate
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone: 02 6277 7500

c) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia

Indonesian campaigners can write to:

Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa
Jl. Pejambon No.6.
Jakarta Pusat, 10110
Indonesia

Telephone: (+62 21) 344 15 08

d) Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia

Malaysian campaigners can write to:

HonourableDato' Sri AnifahHj. Aman
Wisma Putra, No 1, JalanWisma Putra,
Precint 2, 62602 PUTRAJAYA
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