The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released an updated report Monday on the human rights situation in the Kashmir territory whose sovereignty is disputed by India and Pakistan, finding that insufficient progress has been made to correct abuses.
The report examines the situation from May 2018 to April 2019 to determine whether meaningful remedy has occurred for the human rights concerns expressed in the UN’s previous report. The previous report detailed a variety of abuses in both the Indian and Pakistani administered parts of Kashmir. The Indian administered territory experienced abuses of excessive force by Indian Security Forces that led to “civilian casualties, arbitrary detention, impunity for human rights violations and human rights abuses committed by armed groups allegedly supported by Pakistan.” The territory administered by Pakistan had abuses as well but they were more structural in nature from restrictions on freedom of speech and religion to the use of anti-terror laws against political opponents. The new report found that little progress has been made to correct these issues.
The report specifically states that, “As neither the Governments of India nor of Pakistan have taken clear steps to address and implement the recommendations made in OHCHR’s June 2018 report, those recommendations are reiterated and restated in this report.” The report highlights recommendations from the previous report including an end to security forces abuses, investigation into deaths and sexual violence by government and non-government forces, restoration of free speech and free assembly rights, and the release of political prisoners.
India has denounced the report calling it “fallacious” and “a motivated narrative.” India has filed its strongest protest with the Office of the High Commissioner. India has specifically claimed the report ignored a core issue of cross-border terrorism in the territory. Pakistan welcomed the report and had previously provided comments to the UN representatives developing the report.