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Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) – headed by prominent Valley-based human rights defender Khurram Parvez, who has been booked under the Public Safety Act by the government – has won the 2016 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award for its work on enforced disappearances.
AFAD said that the award comes at a “very sensitive time” as its chairperson remains in arbitrary detention since September 16. “As a result of his work, Khurram Parvez has been arrested and is now detained, for almost two months, under the Public Safety Act, a notorious draconian law used to further curtail the rights of the Kashmiri population,” a statement from AFAD stated.
The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy has presented the award to AFAD “for the courage, leadership and vision it brings to the world.” The official award ceremony will take place in Taipei on December 10th, 2016, the International Human Rights Day. As part of the award, AFAD will receive a grant of 100,000 USD from the Government of Taiwan.
J&K Police had arrested Parvez on September 16, a day after he was detained from boarding a flight to address the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court will hear a petition for his release on November 15.
The Srinagar-based Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, where Parvez is Programme Coordinator, said the state government may purposely delay the proceedings by not filing its response on the hearing day.