Islamabad: Senior Kashmiri Hurriyat Leader and President Jammu Kashmir Salvation Movement Altaf Ahmed Bhat in a statement here in Islamabad thanked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for his call for a very close look at the continued confinement of Kashmiri prisoners in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir amid growing cases of the deadly Coronavirus.
President JKSM Bhat while noting the poor hygiene and lack of medical facilities in Indian Jails quoted that, ” “Inmates and prison staff, who live in confined spaces and near others, remain extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. While the rest of the country is instructed to respect social isolation and hygiene rules, basic measures like hand washing – let alone physical distancing – are just not possible for prisoners.”
Altaf Ahmed Bhat mentioned the Joint statement by 6 Human Rights Organizations. “The secretary-general believes that member states need to take a very close look at incarcerations during a time of COVID-19,” his spokesman, Stephane Dujarris said in reply to APP’s question about the joint call for the release of “arbitrarily arrested” Kashmiris by the Geneva-based World Organisation Against Torture, Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights, the Johannesburg-based CIVICUS, the Manila-based Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists, and the London-based Amnesty International.
Bhat also demanded that the Kashmiri Leaders including Dr Hameed Fayyaz, Zafar Akber Bhat, Yasin Malik, Asiya Andrabi, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Massart Alam Butt and all other Kashmiri prisoners in Indian Jails must be released unconditionally so that their lives could be saved during the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
President JKSM Bhat also appreciated the open letter from Kashmir Scholars Consultative Action Network to Secretary-General of United Nations and Joint statement of Amnesty International, the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation, International Commissions of Jurists, International Federation for Human Rights and World Organization Against Torture for raising voice to release Kashmiri Prisoners in Indian Jails.
Bhat welcomed China’s call for a peaceful solution to Kashmir dispute as per the resolutions of the United Nations. Bhat mentioned Upkar Singh Rai’s Petition and thanked him for creating this petition on UK parliaments Website to Urge India and UN to send UN Peacekeepers to Kashmir and carry out a plebiscite.
While appealing to the United Nations, OIC, Amnesty International, WHO, Bhat said that it is the high time international organizations must step in and save Kashmiris from the onslaught of Indian barbarism, and CoronaVirus Catastrophe. There is an acute shortage of Food, Medicine, and Medical supplies in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.