ALERT – Kashmir: Ask UN to take measures

Kashmir Security Patrol (2011), (c) La Priz, creative commons licence

Contents

1. Summary

2. Background 
3. Action Required
4. Sample Letters / Emails

Summary 

It has now been over 100 days since the arrests of young men and teenagers began. Over 100 days since Kashmir has been cut off from the world and been silenced with a complete communication blackout. 4000 have been arrested with no knowledge of their whereabouts. Reports suggest that thousands have been arrested and detained without charge, including children, hundreds injured by the continued use of pellet guns including blinding of protestors.  An ever more restrictive regime of curfews is in place, making it difficult amongst other things for people to access medical care, food and supplies.

IHRC asks campaigners to write to the United Nations and ask them to take measures against the Indian government.

Background

On August 5, the Indian government withdrew Article 370 of India’s constitution, which gave the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir partial autonomy. The article, abrogated in a cloak-and-dagger manner by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, was followed by the imposition of a stringent curfew in the Himalayan region and the snapping of phone and internet connections. On Tuesday 11th Nov, the worst lockdown in more than 70 years of the occupation of Kashmir entered its 100th day.

India’s latest move also included bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two “union” territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, to be administered by the federal government.

Since its occupation of part of Kashmir, India has had an atrocious human rights record in Kashmir, where forced disappearances, summary executions and rape are common practices.  Kashmir is one of the most militarised places on earth.  In the last few years, the Indian military has been accused of mass blindings with the use of pellet guns against civilians in the region.

Further background information is available on the IHRC Kashmir Campaign and Resources page.

Action required 

IHRC continues to call for the occupation of Kashmir to end, for India to withdraw all troops and stand by the 1947 UN call for a plebiscite of the people of Kashmir to determine their own political future. Campaigners are requested to contact the UN Security Council and request they demand India to:

∙         immediately ends its curfew;

∙         withdraws all military presence (both its recent surge and its pre-existing military occupation);

∙         help facilitate the UN plebiscite demanded since 1948, for the people of the region to decide their sovereignty.

Sample letters/email

Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. 

If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you send and the reply you received, to IHRC on info@ihrc.org.

This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters and campaign.

a.    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Michelle Bachelet Jeria

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Palais des Nations

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

[Date]

Dear Ms. Jeria,

Re: the current increase of violations in Indian occupied Kashmir

I am deeply concerned by the devastating news from Kashmir, the Indian government continues to commit mass atrocities against the people of Kashmir.

The people of Kashmir continue to be denied basic human rights and live under fear and agony. This increase of violations requires swift action from the international community. I request you contact the Indian government and demand it:

∙        immediately ends its curfew;

∙         withdraws all military presence (both its recent surge and its pre-existing military occupation);

∙         facilitate the UN plebiscite demanded since 1948, for the people of the region to decide their sovereignty;

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

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]

[Your name]

5. Email addresses of recipients

mbachelet@ohchr.org;

InfoDesk@ohchr.org;

Address details for UN Secretary General

H.E. António Guterres

Secretary-General

United Nations Secretariat Building

New York

NY 10017, USA