Human Rights Watch Endorses UN Report on Kashmir, supports Demand for Intl Probe
Srinagar: Commending the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for its report on Kashmir, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday that in many cases, his Office has stepped up when (Human Rights) Council has failed to act.
The HRW in a statement welcomed the 49-page report released by Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Al-Hussain” – the UN HC for HR – on June 14, 2018 at Geneva calling for an international probe in Kashmir abuses.
“We welcome the High Commissioner’s report on Kashmir, the first-ever by his Office, which highlights the decades of suffering endured by millions of Kashmiris. These human rights concerns have been well documented. Cross-border shelling by Indian and Pakistani troops have killed and injured hundreds. Tens of thousands of indigenous Kashmiri Hindus remain displaced after being forced to flee the valley. Thousands of men have been forcibly disappeared, their wives described as ‘half-widows’. More than 50,000 people have died since the insurgency broke out in 1989. Kashmiris have been tortured or summarily executed by state security forces and threatened or killed by militants. There are serious allegations of sexual violence by all forces,” the HRW said in the statement published on its website.
However, the HRW noted with regret the response of Government of India (GoI) terming it “fallacious, tendentious and motivated,” and saying the findings are “overtly prejudiced.”
“Any responsible government should address human rights concerns, not blame the messenger. The Human Rights Council should act on the call for an independent international investigation into violations and abuses by all parties to the conflict,” the HRW emphasized.
It added that Office of the High Commissioner has rightly flagged areas of serious concern, “but the Human Rights Council has yet to put in place the sustained monitoring, investigations and reporting needed to reverse these disturbing developments”.