Michelle Bachelet Asks India to Restore Human Rights of Kashmiris

Michele Bachelet, Presidente of Chile speaks during Special Session of the Human Rights Council. 29 March 2017. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré (file photo)
Michele Bachelet, Presidente of Chile speaks during Special Session of the Human Rights Council. 29 March 2017. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré (file photo)

Ms. Bachelet said it is important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future.

By Rakesh Raman

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Monday (September 9) that India should restore human rights of the people of Kashmir, which is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan.

In her opening statement for the global update at the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Ms. Bachelet said she is deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions by the Government of India on the human rights of Kashmiris, including restrictions on internet communications and peaceful assembly, and the detention of local political leaders and activists.

Her statement comes close on the heels of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks who expressed his concern over reports of restrictions on the Indian side of Kashmir, which – he said – could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region.

“I have appealed particularly to India to ease the current lockdowns or curfews to ensure people’s access to basic services and that all due process rights are respected for those who have been detained,” Ms. Bachelet said.

She added that it is important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future.

Meanwhile, Liam Byrne – a Member of Parliament (MP) of the British Labour Party – has warned India’s Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi that he should not commit human rights violations in Kashmir.

He led a huge protest of thousands of people on September 3 with the message to Modi: “You cannot silence the people of Kashmir.”

Byrne has also started an online petition to be sent to the House of Commons about the deteriorating human rights situation in Kashmir, which has been occupied by the Indian security forces.

In a despotic move, Modi government has imposed a curfew in Kashmir and millions of people have been locked in their homes since August 4, a day before revoking Article 370 for Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).

The Modi government is also not allowing the press to cover the burning situation in Kashmir.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.

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Rakesh Raman