Geneva, 20th September 2012. International Council for Human Rights (ICHR) together with its ECOSOC partner international Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM) supported by International Association of Schools of Social Work, International Educational Development, Jammu & Kashmir Bar Association, Indigenous Peoples & Nations Coalition, India Council of South America and Kashmir Centre.EU, launched the ICHR Kashmir Report 2012 “Human Rights in Flames” at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. In addition to Barrister A Majid Tramboo, Chairman of ICHR, Dr. Mirwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq, Chairman, All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Dr. Karen Parker of International Educational Development, Professor Nazir Ahmed Shawl, Chairman, Kashmir Centre London and Dr Ishtiyaq Ahmed of Oxford University, being in attendance there were a flurry of Diplomats, UN Officials, Human Rights Organisations and experts who participated in the proceedings. Dr Frank Schwalba-Hoth, former MEP and a Political Strategist moderated the launch event.
Introducing the report, Barrister A Majid Tramboo declared that “Human Rights in Flames” relates to the gross human rights violations in the Indian Held Kashmir since 2008, when the first cycle of India UPR was completed. He further stated that the report is devised in various chapters giving both factual and legal background of the Kashmir issue, description of the Indian black laws applicable in Indian Held Kashmir and having those laws contrasted with the international human rights and humanitarian laws and providing details and graphs of different types of human rights abuses perpetrated upon the Kashmiris by the Indian occupation forces evidenced with case studies. Barrister Tramboo affirmed that the evidence produced in the report is from independent sources and properly corroborated.
Launching the report, Dr. Mirwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq, commended the remarkable work undertaken by the ICHR team leading to the publication of the report. He found the “Human Rights in Flames” an accurate reflection of human rights abuses taking place on the ground in Indian Held Kashmir. He implored upon the UN Human Rights Council to take serious notice of extra-judicial killings, fake encounters, disappearances, molestations and rapes and torture that occurs on a daily basis in IHK. He further indicated that even our religious rights are being curtailed and interfered by the Indian administration, as he is personally routinely house arrested on Friday prayers. He was even denied to participate in the recent Eid prayers. It needs to be borne in mind that Mirwaiz is not only a political leader but a religious head as well.
Dr Karen Parker expressed satisfaction on the completion and introduction of “Human Rights in Flames” as her organisation has fully supported its publication. She brought it to the notice of the delegates that she has been working on the Kashmir issue for the last thirty years and that from time to time, her organisation has produced similar reports on Kashmir though they were smaller in size. She found “Human Rights in Flames” a comprehensive study and a credible documented report. Expressing her concern, based on her personal experience, she stressed that India always manipulates the UN mechanism to its advantage in a manner that such credible reports do not receive the attention they deserve.
Professor Nazir Ahmed Shawl congratulated the ICHR team for producing “Human Rights in Flames” on the second cycle of the India UPR. He stated that he has fully studied the report and as an activist working on the Kashmir situation, he finds that the report presents a realistic picture as it exists in Indian Held Kashmir. He emphasised upon the UN Human Rights Council to adopt the recommendations put forward by the working group on UPR. He described Kashmiris as humans without human rights. He declared that he would continue to work until the people of Jammu & Kashmir are given their inalienable right to self determination and that there is complete cessation of human right abuses towards Kashmiris by the Indian Occupation Forces.
Dr Ishtiyaq Ahmad declared that he studied “Human Rights in Flames” objectively. He informed the delegates that he “googled” Kashmir but did not find any comprehensive report on human rights violations covering all aspects of human rights under International Law. Therefore, in his assessment “Human Rights in Flames” is the first report, which is not only comprehensive but covers every essential human rights violation in IHK. He found that the Kashmir specific recommendations in the report are very relevant and asked the Human Rights Council to incorporate them in the final adopted report.
Following the launch, copies of “Human Rights in Flames” were distributed and the British channel 4 documentary “Kashmiris Torture Trail” was shown which the delegates found disturbing and heart-breaking.
Dr Schwalba-Hoth, on the conclusion of the proceedings, thanked the panellists and the delegates for their participation.