Kashmir authorities re-arrest human rights activist
Kashmir authorities re-arrest human rights activist

Authorities in Kashmir re-arrested a human rights advocate on Wednesday night under color of a controversial security law, the Public Safety Act, which allows the detention of suspects for up to six months without a trial. The arrest came almost immediately after a court had ordered him released from police custody [AI report]. Khurram Parvez had been in administrative detention since September 16 for allegedly posing an imminent threat of “breach of peace,” and a court had ordered his release on Tuesday after ruling that the executive official who had ordered the detention had not followed necessary procedures, including failing to adequately explain the grounds for his detention. Amnesty International (AI) has called for his release and claims that “this kind of arbitrary use of the law suggests that the Jammu and Kashmir police are determined to lock up Khurram Parvez at any cost.”

Kashmir [BBC backgrounder] has long been a subject of international concern. Last month the India branch of AI temporarily closed its office after the organization was accused of sedition and anti-India sentiments [JURIST report]. Earlier in August UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [JURIST report] expressed his concerns [press release] regarding Indian and Pakistani authorities refusing to allow the Human Rights Council access to Kashmir. In July Pakistani Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz [official profile] announced his country’s intention to ask the UN Human Rights Council to send a fact-finding mission to Kashmir following recent civil unrest in the disputed region. Pakistan accused [JURIST report] India of human rights violations after a clash between the Indian army and pro-independence rebels, which led to the death of militant commander Burhan Wani of the group Hizbul Mujahideen [official website]. Continued unrest following the clash preceded the use of force on which Pakistan now seeks Human Rights Council action.