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The UN spokesman raises serious human rights concerns about the occupied Indian Kashmir

GENEVA: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesperson Rupert Colville raised serious concerns about abuses of rights in disputed Indian Kashmir,

Colville said in a statement, “We are deeply concerned that the Indian-Administered Cashmir population continues to be deprived of a wide range of human rights and we urge the Indian authorities to unlock the situation and fully restore the rights currently denied.”

Twelve weeks ago, on 5 August, the Government of India revoked constitutional provisions granting limited autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and declared the creation of two separate federally-administered Union Territories to come into force on Thursday (31 October). At the same time, very restrictive measures have been put in place, their impact on human rights remains widespread.

“Many claims of excessive use of force have been made, including the use by security forces of pellet-firing shotguns, tear gas and rubber bullets during intermittent demonstrations, with unconfirmed reports of at least six civilian killings and dozens of serious injuries in separate incidents since August 5.”

“We also received reports from armed groups operating in Indian-Administered Kashmir threatening residents attempting to conduct their normal business or attend school, as well as several allegations of violence against individuals who did not meet the demands of the armed groups. At least six more people have been killed and more than a dozen have been injured since 5 August in suspected attacks by leaders of the armed group.

Thousands of political and civil society leaders have been arrested on a preventive basis, including three former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers. While it is stated that some political workers have been released, most senior leaders–particularly those from the Kashmir Valley–remain in detention, the statement read further.

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