May 21, 2019 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Angry over a submission from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC) on the massive human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir, the Indian state has reportedly informed the United Nations body that it will no longer entertain any communication with the HRC’s Special Rapporteurs on its report.
“The report from the UN body came at the same time a report from two NGOs in the State on the alleged cases of torture was released in Srinagar, which was endorsed by a former UN Special Rapporteur”, notes a report in The Hindu.
The current Special Rapporteurs on Extrajudicial Executions, Torture, and Right to Health — Agnes Callamard, Dainius Puras and Nils Melzer — had referred to a June 2018 report of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and written to the government in March 2019, asking about steps taken by New Delhi to address the alleged human rights violations listed in the report.
In addition, the Special Rapporteurs had listed “13 cases of concern” from 2018 alone, in which “four children were among eight civilians killed by members of the security forces.”
Rejecting all the claims, the Indian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva replied to the OHCHR on April 23, saying that “India… does not intend to engage further with these mandate-holders or any other mandate-holders on the issue,” whom it accused of “individual prejudice”.
India had also rejected the OHCHR’s report on the ‘Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir’ — the first-ever such report on Jammu and Kashmir that came out in June 2018 — and accused the High Commissioner of Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of “clear bias” in bringing it out.
As per The Hindu: “When asked, the Ministry of External Affairs clarified that India’s stand on not engaging with the Special Rapporteurs was only for those wishing to refer to the OHCHR report”.
“However, UN officials say that India is already in contravention of several Conventions it has committed to, including a “Standing Invitation” signed in 2011 to all special rapporteurs to visit India. According to the UN records, more than 20 such visit requests, including to Jammu and Kashmir, are pending at present. UN sources also said that between 2016-2018, the OHCHR Special Rapporteurs had sent as many as 58 communications, and had received no response other than the April 23 letter on Jammu and Kashmir”, notes The Hindu.
“The only response so far has been to the communication relating to Jammu and Kashmir….The last visit was by the Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation, in October-November 2017,” a UN communications official said in reply to queries from The Hindu.
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Related Topics: Human Rights, Indian State, Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir, Kashmir Agitation, Kashmir Conflict, Kashmir Crisis, Kashmir Issue, Kashmir Killings, Kashmir News, Kashmir Protests, Kashmir Unrest, UNHRC, United Nations