SRINAGAR: Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Geelani, on Monday demanded immediate release of all detainees before Eid.
Stating that the infamous PSA was being repeatedly slapped on political activists, in a statement Geelani said that during “people’s uprising” in 2016, more than 20,000 pro-freedom people and activists were arrested and more than 500 are still detained either in interrogation centers or in jails. “In most of the cases, the detainees were bailed out and their dossiers quashed by judiciary; however authorities instead of honouring the court orders are ignoring all norms and rules. Hence, detainees are not released and slapped with PSA to prolong their detention,” he said.
Geelani said though no charge-sheet has been filed against many detainees, they continue to languish in jails since long “under the lame excuse of preventive custody”. “Despite sufficient space and accommodation in four jails in valley, scores of detainees are lodged in Jammu (under) extreme temperatures. Authorities are subjecting prisoners to vengeance and it is state-sponsored punishment for both prisoners and their families,” he said.
Referring to “haughty and callous approach” of administration, the Hurriyat (G) chairman said even judiciary and human rights organisations are “turning their blind eye to horrible reports about detainees’ plight”. He said the situation in state jails is “more horrific” than those of Abu Gareeb and Guantanamo Bay.
He added that prisoners like Dr Muhammad Qassim Faktoo, Dr Shafi Shariati, Ghulam Qadir Bhat and fifty others who are serving life sentence are also languishing in different jails.
Geelani appeal to ICRC, Amnesty International and international human rights organisations to take cognisance (of prisoners’ plight) and use influence to secure immediate release of all detainees.