Alert: Kashmir – Urge European Commission to take action against violations in Kashmir

A Kashmiri student throws back a tear-gas canister fired by Indian police during a protest in Srinagar, April 2017. Danish Ismail / REUTERS

IHRC is deeply concerned with UN rights experts’ findings over the revocation of the special status of Kashmir and demographic changes in the region.

Background

Action required

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Recipient contact information

Background

In a joint statement, Fernand de Varennes, the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, and Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, expressed their concerns that the loss of autonomy in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir violates Muslim minorities’ rights:

“The loss of autonomy and the imposition of direct rule by the Government in New Delhi suggests the people of Jammu and Kashmir no longer have their own government and have lost power to legislate or amend laws in the region to ensure the protection of their rights as minorities.”

Under Prime Minister Modi’s Government, India has been implementing ultra-nationalist policies that have significantly curtailed the rights of Kashmiri Muslims. The last straw was India’s decision to revoke the special status granted under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on 5 August 2019. The decision downgraded it into two federal territories.

According to the two top experts on minorities and freedom of religion, the revocation of the special status granted under Article 370 and subsequent efforts of the Indian government to the change demographics of the region has been a source of grave concern. Under a new law, Indian authorities have started issuing “domicile certificates” to Indians and non-residents, permitting them residency rights and government jobs. Muslim Kashmiris consider the new policy as the beginning of settler colonialism aimed at engineering a demographic change in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the two UN rapporteurs:

“These legislative changes may have the potential to pave the way for people from outside the former state of Jammu and Kashmir to settle in the region, alter the demographics of the region and undermine the minorities’ ability to exercise effectively their human rights”,

IHRC is extremely concerned with the ongoing situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Action required

  1. IHRC urges campaigners to write to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to demand that the EC takes unified and vocal steps against the human rights violations of the Indian government.
  2. Forward any responses you receive to us on info@ihrc.org so we can develop this campaign further.
  3. Share this alert and the reports and resources, and encourage others to join this campaign.
  4. Please ensure you share verified stories and information. Despite this situation existing for decades, mainstream media has only given it importance now, often spreading unverified reports and cases. 

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[Your name]

[Your address]

[Date]

For the attention of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Dear President Ursula von der Leyen,

I am extremely concerned about the Indian Government’s human rights violations against the Muslim minority in Jammu and Kashmir.

As you may know, Fernand de Varennes, the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, and Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, expressed their concerns that the loss of autonomy in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir violates Muslims minorities’ rights:

“The loss of autonomy and the imposition of direct rule by the Government in New Delhi suggests the people of Jammu and Kashmir no longer have their own government and have lost power to legislate or amend laws in the region to ensure the protection of their rights as minorities.”

Under Prime Minister Modi’s Government, India has been implementing ultra-nationalist policies that have significantly curtailed Kashmiri Muslims’ rights. The last straw was India’s decision to revoke the special status granted under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on 5 August 2019. The decision downgraded it into two federal territories.

According to the two top experts on minorities and freedom of religion, the revocation of the special status granted under Article 370 and subsequent efforts of the Indian government to the change demographics of the region has been a source of grave concern. Under a new law, Indian authorities have started issuing “domicile certificates” to Indians and non-residents, permitting them to residency rights and government jobs. Muslim Kashmiris consider the new policy as the beginning of settler colonialism aimed at engineering a demographic change in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the two UN rapporteurs:

“These legislative changes may have the potential to pave the way for people from outside the former state of Jammu and Kashmir to settle in the region, alter the demographics of the region and undermine the minorities’ ability to exercise effectively their human rights”,

I, therefore, urge the European Commission to take unified and vocal steps against the human rights violations of the Indian government.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]

Your name

Recipient contact information:

Please visit this website and fill the online contact form: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2019-2024/president_en