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GENEVA, Mar. 24, 2023

From our Overseas Bureau

A top United Nations’ expert today asked India to immediately end the crackdown on Kashmiri human rights defenders and urged New Delhi to release and close all investigations initiated against them.

Mary Lawlor, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders made this comment days after the National Investigation Agency (N.I.A.) formally arrested jailed Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society programme Co-ordinator Khurram Parvez in connection with its N.G.O. terror funding case.

The N.I.A. said case relates to the terror funding of proscribed terrorist organisations, such as LeT and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, by certain N.G.O.s, trusts and societies based in the Valley. Indian authorities appear to be intensifying the long-standing repression of Kashmiri civil society, Lawlor said. The state must respect its human rights obligations and be held accountable where it violates them, she said in a statement.

Parvez has been in prison since his arrest by the N.I.A. in November 2021 for anti-national activities, including collecting information on vital installations and deployment and movement of security forces, procuring secret official documents and passing the same to his LeT handlers for monetary consideration. He was charge-sheeted along with six others on May 13 last year.

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