UN Human Rights Chief Demands Access to Kashmir. Petition to NHRC

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy
High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

Close on the heels of releasing the UN Human Rights report on Kashmir, the UN has demanded an unconditional access to Kashmir to record the extent of human rights violations in the troubled state.

While presenting a global update on human rights concerns at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council on Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein reiterated his calls for access to Kashmir.

“I have sought to engage substantively with both India and Pakistan over the past two years regarding the situation in Kashmir, on both sides of the Line of Control. Refusals by both India and Pakistan to enable unconditional access have led us to conduct remote monitoring, with a first report issued last week,” Zeid said.

The report says 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.

Zeid encouraged the Council to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry for a more comprehensive investigation of the human rights situation in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) came under President’s rule on Tuesday when BJP announced its decision to withdraw from its alliance with PDP headed by Mehbooba Mufti.

While explaining the reasons for the withdrawal, Ram Madhav, National General Secretary of BJP, said that terrorism, violence and radicalization have risen and fundamental rights of the citizens are under danger in the Kashmir valley.


As a journalist and social activist, I have sent the following petition to NHRC, India’s top human rights organization.

Petition on UN Human Rights Report on Kashmir

June 15, 2018

Shri Justice H L Dattu
Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
New Delhi, India

Copy:

Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais Wilson, 52 rue des Pâquis CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.

Dear Justice H L Dattu,

I am a government’s national award-winning journalist and social activist. Earlier, I have worked with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert.

During the past over a year, I have sent multiple reports to NHRC detailing human rights abuses in different cases particularly in Delhi. Although NHRC keeps writing letters about these cases to other departments, they ignore NHRC letters or give superficial replies. I am sorry to state that none of those cases are resolved. As NHRC has not been able to assert its authority, the government departments do not take NHRC’s directions seriously.

UN Human Rights Report on Kashmir

This case is about a new report released by the UN Human Rights Office on Thursday (June 14, 2018). The report says 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.

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 while releasing the report.

“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.

Role of NHRC

While the UN Human Rights Office says it is not being given access to Kashmir to understand the ground realities, I urge NHRC to constitute an independent team which should visit Kashmir and compile an updated report on human rights situation in the troubled state. NHRC should share this report with the UN Human Rights Office.

Moreover, as the apex human rights organization in India, NHRC must also convince the Indian government to give unconditional access to UN Human Rights Office which could plan to visit at least Indian-Administered Kashmir.

This email should be considered as my formal petition to NHRC with the request that NHRC should cooperate with the UN Human Rights Office in order to know the exact extent of human rights violations in Kashmir.

Moreover, NHRC should redefine its role to become an effective organization to protect human rights in India.

You may please read the full UN Human Rights report at the following link:

[ UN Human Rights Report on Kashmir Calls for International Inquiry ]

Link: http://www.ramanmedianetwork.com/un-human-rights-report-on-kashmir-calls-for-international-inquiry/

Request for an early response.

Regards
Rakesh Raman
Managing Editor
Raman Media Network
Global News Service
463, DPS Apts., Plot No. 16, Sector 4
Dwarka, Phase I, New Delhi 110 078, INDIA

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Rakesh Raman