SRINAGAR: Senior resistance leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday put international human rights organizations on notice over the condition of Kashmiri prisoners who are being detained in jails across J&K and India.
Addressing the faithful from the pulpit of Jamia Masjid here, the Mirwaiz said, “Oppression against Kashmiris, particularly youth, is going on, be it through Operation All-Out or other measures.”
“For those who believe in human rights; they must take cognizance of incarcerated Kashmiri youth,” the Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman said. “We have reports from Jammu, Kathua and Tihar jails that Kashmiri youth are being targeted,” he said.
“We want to tell government that they are political prisoners; they are not criminals, but they are meted out worst treatment and put in cells, in solitary confinements,” Mirwaiz said. “In Jammu and Kathua jails, Kashmiri prisoners are being tortured psychologically.”
Mirwaiz said that in New Delhi’s Tihar hail, the pro-freedom leaders and activists have been lodged with “criminals”.
“These criminals pass intimidating remarks on Kashmiri prisoners that is most unfortunate,” he said. The gathering joined the Mirwaiz in condemning the situation. “These political prisoners too have rights according to Geneva Convention to which India is a signatory and they must be dealt with accordingly.”
Many Kashmiris are being detained in Tihar Jail Delhi and this year, the National Investigating Agency (NIA) arrested eleven more Kashmiris who and lodged them in the infamous jail. They incarcerated Kashmiris include seven top pro-freedom leaders.
“The vengeful treatment to which they are subject to during detention includes off and on solitary confinement, manhandling of leadership by dreaded criminals posing threat to their lives, unavailability of medicines and medical care and substandard quality of food including only pulses provided to them,” he said.
“Even the visitors and relatives who come to see them in jail are also deliberately harassed and tormented by the authorities. All this is done in complete violation of the jail manual which lays emphasis on the honour and dignity of prisoners.”
The Mirwaiz added that many juveniles are being beaten and lodged in police stations. “After PSAs (Public Safety Act) expire in cases against the political prisoners, the victims are slapped with fake charges. It is a challenge for UN, Amnesty International and ICRC,” he said, asking these world bodies to visit these jails.
“The situation in these jails is really bad,” he added.
He, however, said that freedom movement won’t stop due to such “oppressive measures like arrests, jails and intimidation”.
“Our destination is right to self-determination and we will continue our fight to achieve it,” he added.
The joint resistance leadership led by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik early this month had petitioned the state human rights commission (SHRC) to restore the “dignity” of Kashmiri political prisoners in different jails in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.
The JRL had said in a joint application on November 02 before the SHRC chairman that Kashmiri inmates in Tihar Jail “are subjected to inhuman deprivation of medical treatment; for those who require it, it is lacking, and the inmates are deprived of their contact with near and dear ones and also other basic needs.