India blocking supply of Covid-19 gear to Occupied Kashmir: US lawmaker
US Congressman Steven Charles Watkins Jr highlighting the Indian government’s clampdown on Occupied Kashmir has said that human rights abuses and mass detentions continue in Jammu and Kashmir amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watkins spoke during the general speeches for the one-minute segment of the US Senate session on Wednesday.
He said, “The human rights violations there (Kashmir) are already alarming and now with COVID-19 plaguing the world, people there…must have access to tools necessary to fight this disease. As telecommunications blackouts, suppression of media reports, human rights abuses and mass detentions continue in Jammu and Kashmir, COVID-19 concerns are amplified."
Congressman Steven Watkins said, “There have already been disturbing reports about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) entering being blocked in the region. Without adequate resources and internet access…lives being lost. I urge the global community and actors in the region to work together to ensure the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir have access to care, services and resources to defeat this disease.”
Steven Charles Watkins is an American politician serving as the US Representative for Kansas's 2nd congressional district since 2019. He is a member of the Republican Party.
He is famous for highlighting the grave human rights violations by the Indian army in Occupied Kashmir (IOK). In December 2019 Congressman Steve Watkins speaking in US Senate said, "I rise today in support of Democracy and Freedom for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and the importance of protections for religious minorities in the region.”
“In August of this year, the Indian government abrogated Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, repealing autonomy for the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, curfews have been placed on residents, some 4,000 people have been detained and a widespread communications blackout has left the region cut off from the world, and their families," he said in the speech last year.