SRINAGAR: Human rights group Amnesty International on Thursday made an appeal to its seven-million members seeking support against the arbitrary detention of Khurram Parvez, a noted human rights defender from Indian-administered-Kashmir, who was booked under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) the previous day.
Parvez was imprisoned on September 16 at border district Kupwara, around 100-kilometres from his residence in Srinagar. A Court ordered his release on September 20, but police again detained him outside the prison and next day booked him under PSA, which permits a minimum of six-month-long detention without any charge or trial.
Earlier, he was not allowed to board a flight to Geneva where he was scheduled to participate in a United Nations Human Rights Council Session.
According to Amnesty handout, his initial detention order was based on a police report that said cops had seen him outside a mosque “inciting people to shout slogans and march towards a government building.” However, the handout said his wife has denied the claim, saying they were at her parents’ house in another part of the city at the time.
“His lawyers say that the police are holding him in administrative detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, but the police have not provided any reasons for the detention,” the handout read.
Amnesty appealed its members to ‘immediately write’ to Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, state’s Director General of Police, state’s Director General of Prisons, and diplomatic representatives of respective countries, over Parvez’ administrative detention.
Amnesty asked the members to specifically ask for his “immediate and unconditional release” or charge him with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and try him in accordance with international standards. The group also appealed for his protection from torture or ill-treatment in prison, unrestricted access to his lawyers, ample medical care and lifting any travel bans imposed on him.
Amnesty has asked to file appeals before November 3, nearly one-and-a-half months from now.