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Free Khurram Parvez: An Open Letter to Civil Society

Friends,We write to urgently request that you consider signing this appeal for the release of Khurram Parvez. Please see the information below. Thank you for your kind consideration.

Sincerely,
Angana Chatterji and Parvez Imroz

September 18, 2016

Free Khurram Parvez: An Open Letter to Civil Society

We, the undersigned, call for the immediate release of Khurram Parvez, a distinguished and courageous human rights defender, and write in support of the enclosed statements issued by Advocate Parvez Imroz (please see overleaf).

As we write this, Khurram Parvez has been remanded to preventive custody in a sub-jail in the highly militarized Kupwara District of Kashmir. He is expected to be produced before the court on 21 September 2016.

An executive magistrate in Srinagar issued the order against Khurram Parvez, invoking Sections 107 and 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) (pertaining to detention for breach of peace and design to commit a cognizable offence).

The actions against Mr. Parvez are symptomatic of the escalated repression in Kashmir by institutions of state since July 8.

We note with horror that since July 2016, over 80 persons have been killed, over 11,000 persons have been injured, over 1,000 persons have been arrested and over 100 ambulances have been attacked. For 70 days now, curfew has been imposed in various parts of Kashmir.

Pellet cartridges with about 400-500 pellets each have been fired, aimed above the waist, permanently blinding youth at civilian protests. Communication systems have been repeatedly shutdown; mobile Internet and pre-paid calls have been repeatedly banned, post-paid phone lines have been suspended for a number of days, and even newspapers have been shutdown for a couple of days.

The rights to freedom of speech and movement and the right to dissent and self-determination are being imperiled.

We are gravely concerned by the repeated abrogation of international law and the disregard for India’s constitutional provisions, and by the unceasing targeting of civilians and the continued denial of their civil and political rights.

We urge that the above conditions of collective internment within Kashmir require urgent attention and intervention.

The undersigned:
1. Abdul R. JanMohamed, Professor, English Department, University of California, Berkeley
2. Ahmed Sohaib, Jamia Millia Islamia
3. Amitava Kumar, Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English, Vassar College
4. Angana Chatterji, Feminist Scholar
5. Ania Loomba, Catherine Bryson Professor, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania
6. Arundhati Roy, Author
7. Ather Zia, Anthropology and Gender Studies Program, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado
8. Basharat Peer, Writer
9. Basil Fernando, Asian Human Rights Commission
10. Bijo Francis, Asian Human Rights Commission
11. Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Chair and Distinguished Professor, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities, Syracuse University
12. Deepti Misri, Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies, University of Colorado-Boulder
13. Dibyesh Anand, Professor of International Relations, University of Westminster
14. Fawzia Afzal-Khan, Professor of English and University Distinguished Scholar, Montclair State University
15. Gautam Navlakha, Member of People’s Union for Democratic Rights.
16. Ghazala Jamil, Jawaharlal Nehru University
17. Ghazi Shahnawaz, Jamia Millia Islamia
18. Gloria Steinem, Co-founder Ms. Magazine, Writer, Feminist Organizer
19. Goldie Osuri, Associate Professor in Sociology and Director of Undergraduate Studies, University of Warwick
20. Haley Duschinski, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Law, Justice & Culture, Ohio University
21. Harsh Mander, Writer and Activist
22. Kavita Krishnan, Politburo Member, CPI (ML)-Liberation and Secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA)
23. Mallika Kaur, Lecturer, School of Law, University of California, Berkeley
24. Manisha Sethi, Jamia Millia Islamia
25. Mansi Sharma, Activist
26. Mary Aileen Diez Bacalso, Secretary General, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances
27. Mihir Desai, Senior Counsel, Supreme Court of India and Mumbai High Court
28. Mirza Waheed, Novelist
29. Mohamad Junaid, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
30. Mona Bhan, Associate Professor of Anthropology, DePauw University
31. Mridu Rai, Professor of History, Presidency University, Kolkata
32. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics Emeritus, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
33. Paola Bacchetta, Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Pedagogy, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, University of California, Berkeley
34. Paramjit Kaur Khalra, Patron, Khalra Mission Organization
35. Partha Chatterjee, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
36. Piotr Balcerowicz, Professor and Chair of South Asia, University of Warsaw
37. Rahul Govind, Delhi University
38. Rajvinder Singh Bains, Counsel, Punjab High Court and Haryana High Court
39. Richard M. Buxbaum, Professor Emeritus, School of Law, University of California, Berkeley
40. Ruchira Gupta, Women’s Right Activist, Founder of Apne Aap and Adjunct Associate Professor, Center for Global Studies, School of Professional Studies, New York University
41. Sanghamitra Misra, Delhi University
42. Sanjay Kak, Filmmaker
43. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, Anhad
44. Shohini Ghosh, Sajjad Zaheer Professor, AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia
45. Shubh Mathur, Independent Scholar
46. Suddhabrata Sengupta
47. Suvir Kaul, A. M. Rosenthal Professor, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania
48. Tanweer Fazal, Jawaharlal Nehru University
49. Teesta Setalvad, Civil Rights Activist, Journalist and Educationist
50. Urvashi Butalia, Writer
51. Veena Das, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
52. Vrinda Grover, Lawyer, Supreme Court of India

Jammu Kashmir
Coalition of Civil Society
The Bund, Amira Kadal, Srinagar: 190001, Jammu and Kashmir

URGENT ATTENTION
UNLAWFUL ARREST AND DETENTION OF KHURRAM PARVEZ

16 September 2016

Noted human rights defender, Khurram Parvez, was arrested and detained at around 12:30 am today in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir. He has been detained, without formal arrest or notifications, and in violation of his rights to information, and legal counsel. He has not been provided with any written document, court order or the reasons for his detention. His arrest today follows his detention on 14 September at the New Delhi international airport for approximately two hours. Following which, he was barred from travelling to Geneva, Switzerland. Khurram Parvez is the Programme Coordinator of JKCCS and its spokesperson, and Chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances, a collective of 13 non-governmental organizations from ten Asian countries that campaign on the issue of enforced disappearances. Khurram Parvez was scheduled to attend the 33rd UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva to brief UN bodies, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and foreign governments on the atrocities committed by Indian state forces in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly over the last two months. Khurram Parvez is presently detained at the Kothi Bagh Police Station in Srinagar.
The unlawful detention of Khurram Parvez is a violation of internationally recognized and non-derogable civil and political rights, and India’s own constitutional guarantees. It is a clear indication of reprisal, an attempt to intimidate and restrain Khurram Parvez and his human rights work. In doing so, it seeks to isolate him and silence the critical concerns of Kashmir from being heard by the international community. Unlawful arrests have been consistently used by the Indian state in Jammu and Kashmir to repress all space for dissent. Tellingly, the action on Khurram Parvez closely follows India’s rejection of the UN High Commissioner’s request for access to Jammu and Kashmir for a UN fact-finding mission.
The unlawful arrest and detention of Khurram Parvez, and denial of his right to lawyers, represents a real and imminent security threat that requires urgent attention and action. An urgent appeal has been sent by JKCCS to the President of the UN Human Rights Council, UN High Commissioner, and Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Counsel, including the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
The unlawful arrest and detention of Khurram Parvez is a threat to the principles that Khurram Parvez so courageously represents through his long-standing human rights work in Indian-administered Kashmir: of truth, justice, equality and fundamental rights and freedoms. Khurram Parvez must be released immediately and his rights and freedoms restored.

Parvez Imroz, Advocate
President, JKCCS
For further information, please contact: Zahir-Ud-Din [+91-9419009648] and Kartik Murukutla [+91-9561095497 (ONLY on WhatsApp)]

Jammu Kashmir
Coalition of Civil Society
The Bund, Amira Kadal, Srinagar: 190001, Jammu and Kashmir

KHURRAM PARVEZ TAKEN TO KUPWARA SUB-JAIL

16 September 2016

At 11:45 PM today, noted human rights defender Khurram Parvez was taken from Kothi Bagh police station, Srinagar, to Kupwara sub-jail. Earlier in the day he was remanded by an executive magistrate in Srinagar to police custody for ten days and was ordered to be produced before a court on 26 September 2016. He is being held under sections 107 and 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code [detention for breach of peace and design to commit cognizable offence].

From his midnight arrest to his midnight transfer to Kupwara sub-jail, the actions of the State against Khurram Parvez are intended to punish, intimidate and harass. At Kupwara, around 100 kilometres from Srinagar city, Khurram Parvez will be isolated from family, the media, and most importantly his legal counsel based in Srinagar. There exists no legal justification for this transfer. In the present circumstances of continuous curfew, his transfer to Kupwara is an effort to render him incommunicado. Khurram Parvez faces a serious and imminent security threat as every action of the State against him over the last three days has been of increased hostility and he is in an extremely vulnerable position today. This is a particularly disturbing example of the State using the coercive processes of law against a human rights activist who has consistently worked towards upholding principles of justice.

JKCCS has apprised the international community – United Nations, international NGO’s and foreign governments – in Geneva and elsewhere of the grave danger that Khurram Parvez is in today as his unlawful detention continues. The need for immediate and specific steps has been stressed upon. The actions of the Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir today, including with Khurram Parvez, are being closely watched by the international community. Khurram Parvez must be immediately released from custody.

Parvez Imroz, Advocate
President, JKCCS

For further information, please contact: Zahir-Ud-Din [+91-9419009648] and Kartik Murukutla [+91-9561095497 (ONLY on WhatsApp), and mpkartik@hotmail.com]

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