Fifty two top world academics, activists, lawyers and writers have issued an open letter appealing for immediate release of human rights activist Khurram Parvez who has been under “preventive detention” of J-K Police since Thursday.
The signatories of the letter including Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Amitava Kumar, Teesta Setalvad, Dibyesh Anand, Gautam Navlakha, Kavita Krishnan, Basharat Peer, Mirza Waheed and others have said that the rights to freedom of speech and movement and the right to dissent and self-determination are being “imperiled” in Valley.
“We are gravely concerned by the repeated abrogation of international law and the disregard for India’s constitutional provisions, and by the unceasing targeting of civilians and the continued denial of their civil and political rights,” the open letter released by Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) reads.
Khurram, who is the Chairperson of Asian Federation Against involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and Program Coordinator of JKCCS, was first detained in Kothibagh Police Station and later shifted to Kupwara sub-jail after being remanded by an executive magistrate in Srinagar to police custody for ten days
“An executive magistrate in Srinagar issued the order against Khurram Parvez, invoking Sections 107 and 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) (pertaining to detention for breach of peace and design to commit a cognizable offence),” the letter issued by the intelligentsia reads. “The actions against Mr. Parvez are symptomatic of the escalated repression in Kashmir by institutions of state since July 8.”
Earlier, Khurram was not allowed to board a flight by immigration authorities at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Wednesday. He was supposed to take a flight to Geneva to attend the ongoing United Nations Human Rights Commission session there.
Police has given flimsy reason for arrest of Khurram, a known human rights defender saying “he stood outside a mosque near his house (on Thursday evening) and incited people to shout slogans and march towards (nearby) Tourist Reception Centre”. The J&K Police’s only proof is the testimony of three of its own policemen.