UN rights chief concerned over ongoing Indian curbs in Kashmir

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GENEVA (APP): United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet Monday voiced her continued concern over the situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), saying the ongoing use of a tough law, which is aimed at quelling dissent, was “worrying.”

“Indian authorities’ restrictions on public assembly, and frequent temporary communication blackouts, continue in Jammu and Kashmir, while hundreds of people remain in detention for exercising their right to the freedom of expression, and journalists face ever-growing pressure,” she said at the start of the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council on human rights developments around the world.

“Ongoing use of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act throughout India is worrying, with Jammu and Kashmir having among the highest number of cases in the country,” the UN rights chief said in the section on the disputed territory, adding that “such restrictive measures can result in human rights violations and foster further tensions and discontent.”

On August 5, 2019, the Indian government revoked Article 370 and other related provisions from its Constitution, scrapping Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy, and splitting the disputed region into two federally administered territories in violation of UN resolutions.

Simultaneously, India locked the region down, detaining thousands of people, imposing movement restrictions, and enforcing a communications blackout.

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