We, the undersigned, call for the immediate release of Khurram Parvez, a distinguished and courageous human rights defender.
As we write this, Khurram Parvez has been remanded to preventive custody in a sub-jail in the highly militarized Kupwara District of Kashmir. He is expected to be produced before the court on 21 September 2016.
An executive magistrate in Srinagar issued the order against Khurram Parvez, invoking Sections 107 and 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) (pertaining to detention for breach of peace and design to commit a cognizable offence).
The actions against Mr Parvez are symptomatic of the escalated repression in Kashmir by institutions of state since July 8.
We note with horror that since July 2016, over 80 persons have been killed, over 11,000 persons have been injured, over 1,000 persons have been arrested and over 100 ambulances have been attacked. For 70 days now, curfew has been imposed in various parts of Kashmir.
Pellet cartridges with about 400-500 pellets each have been fired, aimed above the waist, permanently blinding youth at civilian protests. Communication systems have been repeatedly shutdown; mobile Internet and pre-paid calls have been repeatedly banned, post-paid phone lines have been suspended for a number of days, and even newspapers have been shut down for days.
The rights to freedom of speech and movement and the right to dissent and self-determination are being imperiled.
We are gravely concerned by the repeated abrogation of international law and the disregard for India’s constitutional provisions, and by the unceasing targeting of civilians and the continued denial of their civil and political rights.
We urge that the above conditions of collective internment within Kashmir require urgent attention and intervention.
Abdul R. Jan Mohamed, Amitava Kumar, Angana Chatterji, Ania Loomba, Arundhati Roy, Basharat Peer, Basil Fernando, Bijo Francis, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Gautam Navlakha, Ghazi Shahnawaz, Gloria Steinem, Harsh Mander, Kavita Krishnan, Manisha Sethi, Mary Aileen Diez Bacalso, Mihir Desai, Mirza Waheed, Mridu Rai, Noam Chomsky, Paola Bacchetta, Paramjit Kaur Khalra, Partha Chatterjee, Rajvinder Singh Bains, Richard M. Buxbaum,Ruchira Gupta, Sanjay Kak, Shabnam Hashmi, Shohini Ghosh, Suddhabrata Sengupta, Suvir Kaul, Teesta Setalvad, Urvashi Butalia, Veena Das and Vrinda Grover.