On November 22, the NIA had arrested human rights activist Khurram Parvez in a case related to terror funding. Earlier this year, his house and office in Srinagar were searched. Global human rights organizations criticized the move and expressed concern about the risk of custodial torture.
New Delhi: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) issued a statement on 22 December saying that the arrest of Khurram Parvez was a retaliatory action for his legitimate activities as a human rights activist.
Along with this, the UNOHCHR also called for his immediate release, according to the report. This statement was signed by several UN human rights experts.
Parvez was arrested on November 22 this year by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) after raiding his Srinagar residence and his office.
In a statement issued by the OHCHR, Parvez has worked extensively to document serious human rights violations, including missing and unlawful killings, in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Parvez was the victim of these retaliatory incidents for sharing this information with the United Nations.
“We regret that the Indian government continues to forcibly use the UAPA to restrict fundamental freedoms of civil society, media and human rights activists in Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of the country,” the experts said. We once again urge the government to bring a law in line with India’s international legal obligations under the Human Rights Act.
the wire According to the copy of Khurram’s arrest memo obtained by the court, “This case is related to IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against the Government of India), 121A (punishment for conspiracy to wage war against the Government of India) and unlawful activity.” Sections 17 (raising funds for terrorist activities), 18 (punishment for conspiracy), 18B (recruitment of persons for acts of terrorism), 38 (offences relating to membership of a terrorist organization) and 40 (terrorist organization) of the Prevention of Act 1967 the offense of raising funds for
Following Parvez’s arrest, the OHCHR expressed its objections to official activist Rupert Colville, saying that Parvez’s arrest and India’s continued use of UAPA are worrying.
I’m hearing disturbing reports that Khurram Parvez was arrested today in Kashmir & is at risk of being charged by authorities in #India with terrorism-related crimes. He’s not a terrorist, he’s a Human Rights Defender @mujmash @RaftoFoundation @GargiRawat @NihaMasih pic.twitter.com/9dmZOrSwMY
— Mary Lawlor UN Special Rapporteur HRDs (@MaryLawlorhrds) November 22, 2021
Mary Lawler, the special envoy of the UN’s human rights defenders, expressed her concern by tweeting. The Indian government, however, dismissed these concerns. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said that this statement is baseless.
The OHCHR, in its current statement, said that the Rohini Jail Complex, where Parvez is kept, is actually one of the three most overcrowded and unhygienic jails in the country and as a result, Parvez’s health is at risk especially from COVID-19.
The OHCHR also said that as it had said earlier that the 2019 amendment to the UAPA has increased the powers of the state agencies and due to this there has been an alarming increase in the number of arrests across the country, especially in Kashmir.
In this context, human rights experts were quoted as saying, ‘We once again urge the government to bring a law in accordance with India’s international legal obligations under the Human Rights Act.’
This statement was signed by several human rights experts.
Please tell that Khurram (44) is also partially physically disabled. He lost his legs in a car landmine blast. His colleague and journalist Asiya Gilani was killed in this blast.
Last year, Khurram’s office was one of the ten places the NIA raided in a case related to funding of separatist activities. During this raids were also conducted on the office of the English newspaper Greater Kashmir in Srinagar.
It is known that Khurram was awarded the Rebuk Human Rights Award in 2006. He was arrested a day after he was barred from traveling to Switzerland to attend a session of the UN Council of Rights in 2016.
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