GENEVA / KASHMIR HUMAN RIGHTS

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29-Oct-2019 00:01:34
The people of Indian-Administered Kashmir continue to be deprived of numerous basic freedoms, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Tuesday, before urging the Indian authorities to unlock the situation. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / KASHMIR HUMAN RIGHTS
TRT: 1:34
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 29 OCTOBER 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Exterior shot, Palais des nations
2. Wide shot, press room
3. Close up, reporter
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“The undeclared curfew imposed by the authorities in the region was lifted from much of Jammu and Ladakh region within a few days, but is reportedly still in place in large parts of the Kashmir Valley, preventing the free movement of people, as well as hampering their ability to exercise their right to peaceful assembly, and restricting their rights to health, education and freedom of religion and belief.”
5. Med shot, reporter
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“There have been several allegations of excessive use of force including the use of pellet-firing shotguns, tear gas and rubber bullets by security forces during sporadic protests, with unconfirmed reports of at least six civilian killings and scores of serious injuries in separate incidents since 5 August.”
7. Close up, reporters
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“At least another six people have been killed and over a dozen injured in alleged attacks by armed group members since 5 August.”
9. Close up, hands typing
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“While restrictions on landline telephones were eventually lifted, and a state-run telecom company allowed to resume partial mobile services, all internet services remain blocked in the Kashmir Valley.”
11. Various shots, presser

STORYLINE:

The people of Indian-Administered Kashmir continue to be deprived of numerous basic freedoms, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Tuesday, before urging the Indian authorities to unlock the situation.

The appeal over the territory – which both India and Pakistan claim as sovereign - follows months of escalating tensions linked to earlier suicide attacks and the Indian Government’s decision in August to revoke Kashmir’s special status allowing it partial autonomy. At the time of the Indian Government decision, five UN-appointed independent rights experts warned that it had led to tighter central Government control, restrictions on peaceful protests and a communications blackout.

In Geneva on Tuesday (29 Oct), spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville acknowledged that an “undeclared curfew” had been lifted from much of Jammu and Ladakh regions within a few days. But he noted that it was reportedly still in place “in large parts of the Kashmir Valley, preventing the free movement of people, as well as hampering their ability to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and restricting their rights to health, education and freedom of religion and belief.”

Highlighting “several allegations of excessive use of force” against protesters that involved the use of “pellet-firing shotguns, tear gas and rubber bullets”, Colville said that there had also been unconfirmed reports of “at least six civilian killings and scores of serious injuries” in separate incidents since the Indian Government declaration on 5 August.

The Office of the High Commissioner had also received reports that armed groups in Indian-administered Kashmir have threatened residents trying to work or go to school, the OHCHR spokesperson said.
In addition, “at least another six people have been killed and over a dozen injured in alleged attacks by armed group members since 5 August”.

And although restrictions on landline telephones were eventually lifted, and a state-run telecom company allowed to resume partial mobile phone services, all internet services remain blocked in the Kashmir Valley, Mr. Colville insisted. In line with the Indian Government’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s partial self-rule, two separate federally-administered Union Territories are to be created this Thursday, the OHCHR spokesperson explained, adding that “hundreds of political and civil society leaders” had been detained “on a preventative basis”.

While some political workers have reportedly been released, most senior leaders – especially those from the Kashmir Valley – remain in detention, according to the OHCHR.









We have also received reports of armed groups operating in Indian-Administered Kashmir threatening residents trying to carry out their normal business or attend school, as well as several allegations of violence against people who have not complied with the armed groups’ demands. Hundreds of political and civil society leaders, including three former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, have been detained on a preventative basis. While some political workers have reportedly been released, most senior leaders – especially those from the Kashmir Valley – remain in detention.

We have also received a number of allegations of torture and ill-treatment of people held in detention. These must be independently and impartially investigated. Torture is totally and unequivocally prohibited under international law.

While restrictions on landline telephones were eventually lifted, and a state-run telecom company allowed to resume partial mobile services, all internet services remain blocked in the Kashmir Valley. Media outlets continue to face undue restrictions, with at least four local journalists allegedly arrested in the past three months.

The Supreme Court of India has been slow to deal with petitions concerning habeas corpus, freedom of movement and media restrictions. The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission, the State Information Commission (which implements the right-to-information laws) and the State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights are among key institutions being wound up, with the new bodies to replace them yet to be established.

Meanwhile, major political decisions about the future status of Jammu and Kashmir have been taken without the consent, deliberation or active and informed participation of the affected population. Their leaders are detained, their capacity to be informed has been badly restricted, and their right to freedom of expression and to political participation has been undermined.
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unifeed191029a
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