UN Human rights chief expresses concern over situation in IIOJK

Komal FatimaWeb Editor

27th Feb, 2021. 12:51 pm
IIOJK Kashmiri youth

United Nations’ human rights chief has expressed concern over the worsening human rights situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet updated the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Human Rights issues in more than 50 countries.

The commissioner said the UNHRC is continuing to monitor the situation in IIOJK “where restrictions on communications, and clampdowns on civil society activists, remain of concern”. She said that despite the recent restoration of 4G access for mobile phones, the communications blockade has seriously hampered civic participation, as well as business, livelihoods, education, and access to healthcare and medical information.

The UN commissioner also expressed concern over the action taken by Indian authorities covering the protests and efforts to curb freedom of expression on social media.

“Raids against human rights defenders in October and November exemplify the continued restrictions on civil society, and the resulting impact on the rights of the people of Kashmir to impart and receive information, and to engage in free, open debate on Government policies affecting them,” she said.

Bachelet added that continued protests by hundreds of thousands of farmers in India highlight the importance of ensuring laws and policies are based on meaningful consultations with those concerned.

“Charges of sedition against journalists and activists for reporting or commenting on the protests, and attempts to curb freedom of expression on social media, are disturbing departures from essential human rights principles,” she added.

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