‘UNHRC Report on Kashmir Biased, Unverified’: India at UN

The 49-page report detailed human rights violations and abuses on both sides of the Line of Control.

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India
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The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released its first-ever report on the situation of human rights in Kashmir about a month ago.
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The Deputy Permanent Representative of India to UN, Tanmaya Lal, on Tuesday, 10 July, rejected the United Nations Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) report on Kashmir, calling it biased and based on unverified sources.

The document reflected clear bias of an official who was acting without any mandate and relied on unverified sources of information; a document that was not found fit to be considered by membership of the forum where it was submitted.
Tanmaya Lal, Deputy Permanent Representative of India to UN

This comes almost a month after the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released its first-ever report on the situation of human rights in Kashmir on 14 June, calling for a commission of inquiry to conduct an independent, international investigation into such violations.

The report had detailed violations and abuses in the Indian side of the region as well as those in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, highlighting "chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces."

Earlier, India's Ministry of External Affairs had rejected the report, calling it "fallacious, tendentious and motivated.”

India rejects the report. It is fallacious, tendentious and motivated. We question the intent in bringing out the report. It is a selective compilation of largely unverified information.
Ministry of External Affairs

The 49-page report detailed human rights violations and abuses on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC), and highlighted the “chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces.”

The report criticised India's tactics in Kashmir, saying its security forces used "excessive force that led to unlawful killings" and caused many injuries.

In a press release, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, had said the conflict "has robbed millions of their basic human rights."

Given all that we have learned and the current serious tensions, including those stemming from a series of recent incidents in Srinagar, I urge the Indian security forces to exercise maximum restraint and strictly abide by international standards governing the use of force when dealing with future protests.
Press release of Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Use of Pellet Guns

“One of the most dangerous weapons being used against protesters in Kashmir is the pellet-firing shotgun. A number of people have been killed and thousands injured by these pellets since July 2016, and many have been partially or completely blinded,” the report said.

The report had also urged security forces to completely halt their use of the deadly weapon during crowd-control operations.

AFSPA Act

The report had also asked for repealing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) "urgently", and also "immediately remove the requirement for prior central government permission to prosecute security forces personnel accused of human rights violations in civilian courts."

“Impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the report had stated, noting that AFSPA and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act have “created structures that obstruct the normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardise the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations.”

The report also examined a range of human rights violations in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir which are “of a different calibre or magnitude and of a more structural nature”. In addition, restrictions on freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association in PoK and in Gilgit-Baltistan limited the ability to obtain information about the situation on the ground, the report had added.

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