Pakistan welcomes joint statement of rights bodies on IOK situation

By: News Desk      Published: 02:35 PM, 7 Apr, 2020
Pakistan welcomes joint statement of rights bodies on IOK situation

Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui on Tuesday said that Pakistan welcomed the joint statement by six international human rights organizations, calling on India to immediately release all arbitrarily detained prisoners and restore full high-speed internet access in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

In a press release issued the spokesperson said the Joint Statement rightly underlines that measures to combat COVID-19 must respect human rights of every individual.

She said the six organizations demanded the release of political prisoners, human rights defenders & all those arrested in IOJ&K after 5 August 2019 is therefore imperative.

“Expressing concern on the ation of inmates from outside due to complete blackout and ban on prison visits, the statement underscores those allegations of torture against Kashmiri prisoners as part of a decades-long pattern of abuses have been repeatedly denounced by HR & UN bodies.”

A statement was issued by six international organizations including Amnesty International India, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), and World Alliance for Citizen Participation, International Commissions of Jurists (ICJ), and International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).

Following are the demands made in the statement:

·         Immediately release all arbitrarily detained prisoners, including journalists, human rights defenders, political leaders and others detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views, including Mr. Miyan Abdul Qayoom and all those arrested after 5 August 2019 in Jammu & Kashmir;

·         Consider releasing those particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, among them older detainees and those who are sick, as well as low-risk offenders;

·         Provide adequate healthcare and implement preventive measures, such as the screening of all detainees and the confinement of vulnerable inmates, to ensure the safety of all prisoners and prison staff;

·         Take measures to ensure that, upon release, inmates are medically screened and provided with adequate care and proper follow-up, including health monitoring;

·         Ensure the availability to all prisoners of alternative measures to prison visits (e.g. video conferencing, more telephone access);

·         Ensure that safeguards against torture and ill-treatment of people in custody, including access to lawyers and medical examinations, are maintained during the emergency; and

·         Restore full access to high-speed internet in Jammu & Kashmir.