Tag Archives: Kashmir

Kashmir/India: Rafto Prize for two human rights activists from Kashmir: Here’s what it means to them

September 29, 2017

Two long-time human rights defenders Parvez Imroz and Parveena Ahangar have been awarded the prestigious Professor Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize, popularly known as the Rafto Prize, for human rights this year.

The past recipients of this award include Aung Sang Suu Kyi and Shirin Ebadi, both of whom went on to win the Nobel prize for peace.

In its statement, the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights said the award was given to the duo for their “decades of campaigning for human rights in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”.

“Their long campaign to expose human rights violations, promote dialogue and seek peaceful solutions to the intractable conflict in Kashmir has inspired new generations across communities,” the foundation said.

Speaking about Parveena Ahangar, the foundation said that she “protests against enforced disappearances and challenges the perpetrators of violence”. Similarly, the foundation praised Imroz as “a lawyer and a leading intellectual who uses the law to ensure fundamental human rights and equality before the law in Kashmir”.

On his part, Imroz sees the award as an acknowledgement of the deteriorating human rights situation in Kashmir by the European civil society.

Imroz has already received the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights prize in 2006 given by the Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Bordeaux, France, and the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE). The award has earlier been conferred to Nelson Mandela.

The duo will be traveling to Norway in November to receive the award and also get a chance to interact with the various civil society groups in the country.

“We will use this opportunity to create some more awareness about Kashmir. And tell the world that the overriding challenge in Kashmir is not terrorism but the massive humanitarian fallout of the thirty years of the conflict,” Imroz said.


J&K activist, lawyer awarded Rafto Prize



Parveena Ahangar and Parvez Imroz in Kashmir awarded Rafto Prize 2017



http://www.rtl.be/info/monde/international/le-prix-rafto-attribue-a-deux-militants-indiens-des-droits-de-l-homme-957073.aspx (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/fr-page3.callplt2006.htm  (FRANCAIS)

http://www.eldiario.es/politica/Activistas-derechos-humanos-noruego-Rafto_0_691531107.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.vol.at/indische-menschenrechtsaktivisten-erhalten-rafto-preis/apa-1438400188 (DEUTSCH)

http://www.dunyabulteni.net/manset/408627/kesmirli-aktivistlere-rafto-insan-haklari-odulu (TURKCE)

Kashmir/India: Joint leadership supports today’s shutdown call

September 24, 2017

Joint leadership supports today’s shutdown call

Joint separatist leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik on Sunday extended its support to the shutdown called by traders and transporters on September 25 (Monday) against the NIA summon to a Kashmiri business leader Muhammad Yaseen Khan and others.

“New Delhi is using the National Investigation Agency as a war weapon to harass oppressed and suppressed people of the state,” the leadership said in a joint statement.

Criticising the Enforcement Directorate for filing a chargesheet against Shabir Ahmad Shah, the three leaders termed it as “sheer political vendetta.” The trio criticised the NIA for issuing notices and summoning the traders’ leader Muhammad Yaseen Khan, Haji GhulamNabi, Agha Syed Hassan, Kashmir University scholar AalaFazili, DrNaeemGeelani, DrNaseemGeelani, photograph journalists (sic), Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Shah Wali Muhammad, advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom, Muhammad Shafi Rishi, Noor Muhammad Kalwal and university students.

“The NIA is framing fabricated cases against pro-freedom leaders to defame the freedom movement as part of pre-planned psychological crackdown so that they (leadership and activists) surrender and stop voicing the sentiments of their nation,” the leaders said.





(N.B. Muhammad Shafi Rishi is also a  lawyer)

India/Kashmir: Mian Qayoom comes home, lawyers call off strike

September 9, 2017

Mian Qayoom comes home, lawyers call off strike

Kashmir-based lawyers will resume work in courts on Saturday after Mian Abdul Qayoom, President of the Kashmir High Court Bar Association, returned to Srinagar on Friday morning after facing the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi.
Joint Secretary of the Bar, Advocate Anwar-ul-Islam, told Kashmir Reader that a general body meeting of Bar members was held at the High Court in Srinagar wherein it was decided to “resume work in courts from tomorrow”.
“The Bar president presided over the meet and thanked his colleagues and all district bar associations and mufassil court lawyers for support and solidarity,” Islam said.
Qayoom, 67, was summoned by the NIA to New Delhi on September 6 as a witness in the agency’s investigation into alleged funding from Pakistan to Kashmir for “subversive activities”.
The NIA summons to the Bar president led to sharp opposition from the lawyer fraternity, who suspended work in all courts across Kashmir from Monday.
Although Qayoom was within his rights to ask the NIA to record his statement in Srinagar, he instead flew to Delhi to face the investigators who included high-ranking officials of the NIA.
“We returned to Srinagar after boarding 7:15 am flight from Delhi and Qayoom drove to the High Court from his home later to attend the meeting, which lasted for two hours up to 1 PM,” said a lawyer who was part of the 8-member team that accompanied Qayoom to Delhi.
To resume work in courts, the aggrieved lawyers had demanded “honourable return of Mian Abdul Qayoom from Delhi”.
“The Bar called off the strike and will meet next on September 12 to chalk out future strategy,” Islam said.









September 9, 2017

Lawyers across Kashmir boycotted court work for four consecutive days from 4th to 7th September 2017 against the summoning of the President of High Court Bar Association (JKHCBA), Advocate Mian Qayoom by NIA (National Investigation Agency). The lawyers at Srinagar court complex as well as the High Court had also staged protests under the banner of JKHCBA. They were even supported by all the District and Mufassil Bar Associations of Kashmir.

The NIA has claimed that they are probing into whether the funding of separatists from terrorist outfits was being used to fuel violence in the valley (FIR No. RC-10/2017/NIA/DIL) and has hence issued summons to Advocate Mian Qayoom. However since the past few months on this pretext, the NIA has been targeting lawyers in the valley. In July, the houses of Advocate Devinder Singh Behl from Jammu was raided. On August 16th, the residence of Advocate Mohammed Shafi Resh was raided in Baghat, as part of twelve raids conducted by the NIA in Srinagar, Baramulla, and Handwara. Advocate Resh is a member of the Bar and also represents the pro-freedom Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani. Meanwhile, Doda based lawyer, Babur-ul-Islam Nehru remains in custody since 22 July 2017.

As reasons for going on strike, the HCBA in its letter to the CJI, has mentioned its apprehensions and suspicions, stating that though Mian Qayoom has been summoned as a witness, they have reason to believe that there is more than what meets the eye. The notice had been issued under Section 160 Cr.P.C., Proviso wherein it requires NIA to record the statement of a witness at his place of residence if he/she is less than 15 or more than 65 years of age. Qayoom is more than 65 years of age.

However, this particular targeting of lawyers like Mohammed Shafi Resh and the President of the JKHCBA has to be viewed in the background of the recent decisions of the HCBA. On July 28th, the HCBA had constituted a “high powered” legal team to examine the constitutional validity of NIA Act, 2008 and its application to the State of J&K and suggest ways and means for providing necessary legal aid to all those who have been booked in FIR No. RC-10/2017/NIA/DIL by NIA, taken to Delhi after arrest and remanded to police custody. This was decided by the Bar Association in the interests of issues concerning the people of Kashmir, more particularly the one relating to the “misuse” of the provisions of NIA Act by NIA authorities in “terrorising, arresting, humiliating and harassing” the pro-freedom leadership and their activists. The HCBA had also taken a stand before the Supreme Court with regard to the use of pellets in Kashmir and is also defending Article 35-A of the Constitution of India in a petition filed by an NGO Court calling for it to be struck down. It is hence imperative that the recent summons issued by the NIA/Central Government on the head of the HCBA be viewed as an act of vindictiveness to suppress and harass anyone (in this case a Lawyer’s Association) who dare challenge the authority of Delhi.

The Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) strongly condemns the illegal and unwarranted raid on the residence of advocate Resh and views the summons issued to the High Court Bar Association President, Mian Qayoom as an act to suppress, harass and demonise the Kashmiri lawyers in general and a Bar Association in particular. It is also an attempt by the NIA to browbeat the parties in the litigation process by attacking lawyers who have been staunch defenders of Article 35A of the Constitution of India and the rights of Kashmiri people. IAPL demands, that the NIA immediately stop all raids, summons and criminal proceedings directed against Kashmiri lawyers in connection with FIR No. RC-10/2017/NIA/DIL. IAPL also extends its solidarity to the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri lawyers protesting against the unwarranted and unconstitutional authority of Delhi.


Advocate Surendra Gadling,
General Secretary,
Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL)

(IAPL – Indian Association of People’s Lawyers Facebook)


India/Kashmir: Lawyers to boycott courts today

September 8, 2017

Rising Kashmir

The lawyers have decided to stay away from courts in the Valley on Friday while the High Court Bar Association has written a letter to Chief Justice of India (CJI) on the NIA raids in the Valley.
A general body meeting of High Court Bar Association was held at High Court premises today. In the meeting, it was unanimously decided that in view of continuous questioning of President Bar Association Mian Qayoom by NIA all the lawyers would abstain from court work tomorrow (Friday).
The members expressed their satisfaction over support and resentment shown by all the district and Mufassil Bar Associations of the valley over questioning of Bar President by NIA.
In the meeting, the members also decided to hold another meet on Friday it was decided that the strike shall continue tomorrow as well.
Accordingly, all the members of the Bar Association as well as all the District and Mufassil Bar Associations of the valley are requested to support the strike call and abstain from court on September 8.
Meanwhile, J&K High Court Bar Association has written a letter to Chief Justice of India.
In the letter, the Bar Association has said that its president Mian Qayoom does not own directly, indirectly or otherwise any property in the areas of Jammu, Hyderpora, Peerbagh, Zakura, Lal Bazar, Lasjan, Pantha Chowk, shopping complex at an unknown place, as is being publicly stated on the social networking sites.







Kashmir/India: NIA conducts fresh searches at 12 places in J-K terror funding case

August 16, 2017

An NIA team carries out a raid in Srinagar in June.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday conducted fresh searches at 12 locations in Jammu and Kashmir as part of its probe into whether the funding of separatists from Pakistani terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was being used to fuel violence in the valley.

The searches, which the central agency termed as follow-up action, were carried out in Srinagar, Baramulla, and Handwara.

Those raided on Wednesday included a Srinagar-based advocate Mohammed Shafi Reshi and three relatives of prominent businessman Zahoor Watali, whose premises were searched in the first round of raids.

“We suspect financial links between the separatists and those raided on Wednesday,” said Alok Mittal, inspector general of NIA.







Terror funds: NIA raids 12 premises in Kashmir




India/Kashmir: Doda based lawyer detained ‘without charges’

August 7, 2017

Doda based lawyer detained ‘without charges’

Family of a Doda based lawyer and social activist, Babur-ul-Islam Nehru has expressed concern over his safety saying he is in police custody since 22 July “without any charges.”

“He was picked from outside masjid and taken to police station Gandhi Nagar. Later he was shifted to another police station and now he is presently lodged in Akhnoor police station,” said Babur’s younger brother. Abdul Mateen Nehru,

The family claimed that in last two weeks, Babar has been shifted to three different police stations.

“When I went to meet him at the police station, he told me that  a senior police officer had visited him and told him that he is a threat to peace. I don’t know how he is a threat, when he was doing his regular job and social work,” Mateen informed.

The Akhnoor police station, has confirmed that he is in their lockup, “Yes, he is in our police station.” When asked about the charges on which he has been detained he told that “it is confidential and can’t tell it over the phone.”