Khurram Parvez prevented from attending UN Human Rights Council Session by India
14 September 2016
Early this morning, at 1:30 a.m., Khurram Parvez, a Kashmiri human rights defender- presently the Chairperson of Asian Federation Against involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and Program Coordinator of Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) – was prevented from leaving Delhi at the Indira Gandhi International airport Delhi. He was leaving to visit Geneva, Switzerland to attend the ongoing UN Human Rights Council session.
Despite having invitation, valid visa and other necessary documents, Khurram Parvez was detained for one and a half hours, and subsequently told that due to orders from the Intelligence Bureau, he cannot travel to Geneva. Despite repeatedly asking for written orders that he was forbidden to leave the country, he was denied the same. And despite repeatedly asking for reasons, grounds or the basis for the decision to disallow his travel, he was not provided the same. He was only orally informed that immigration officers had instructions that he was not to be ‘arrested’, but that he should not be allowed to leave the country. It appears that Khurram Parvez is not being allowed to travel because he has been – in his capacity as the Chairperson of Asian Federation Against involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and Program Coordinator of Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) – highlighting violations of human rights Preventing Khurram Parvez from travelling is an attempt to criminalize the human rights campaign and documentation work which JKCCS has been involved in for the last several years.
Khurram Parvez alongwith Mary Aileen Diez Bacalso, Adv. Parvez Imroz, Adv. Kartik Murukutla and Ron de Vera were part of the AFAD & JKCCS delegation which is visiting Geneva from 14th to 24th September to attend the 33rd UN Human Rights Council session.
The Kashmiri members of the delegation, besides attending the UNHRC session are scheduled to brief UN bodies including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly over the last two months. JKCCS was also to participate in India’s Universal Periodic Review [a four year review process of UN States by the Human Rights Council] to be held in April/May 2017. JKCCS has already submitted a report on the role of the Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir as a part of that review process.
This travel ban is a part of the widespread and systematic violence that the people of Jammu and Kashmir continue to face. Over the last 68 days, Fundamental Rights have been curtailed through the imposition of continuous State curfews and restrictions, 80+ civilians have been killed and 10,000+ injured through State forces action with 800+ having received eye-damage including by the use of pellet shotguns and 100+ civilians are partially or permanently blinded. Peaceful gatherings and marches, including funeral processions and public prayers, are met with violence as telecommunication services remain by and large curtailed. Political activists and protestors, including minors, are illegally detained [estimated at 1000+]. The Indian State seeks to isolate the people of Jammu and Kashmir at all costs, and disallowing human rights activists access to the UN is a part of this attempt to isolate and ensure impunity for violence and denial of human rights.
India has staked a claim to a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, and is presently a member of the UN Human Rights Council. Yet, in absolute disregard to its own laws, it denies Kashmiris basic fundamental rights. The international community, particularly the UN, must condemn the attempts of the Indian State to deny the people of Jammu and Kashmir their right to resist, including through human rights work, and urgently intervene through a UN fact-finding mission in Jammu and Kashmir.
Adv. Parvez Imroz
President, Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society
Bangladesh journalists could face 14 years in prison for refuting rumor
New York, August 12, 2016 — Bangladeshi authorities should drop all criminal proceedings against three journalists from the news website banglamail24, release them immediately, and restore press credentials to nine of their colleagues, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The three journalists could face a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison if charged and convicted under a law governing online publication.
Police on Sunday night arrested banglamail24 Executive Editor Maksukul Alam, acting Editor Shahadat Ullah Khan, and reporter Pranta Palash after the website published a report refuting a rumor that the prime minister’s son, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, had died in a plane crash, according to press reports. A government statement also said that nine banglamail24 journalists’ accreditation had been revoked, according to the news website bdnews24.com.
Police Lt. Col. Khandker Golam Sarwar told the news website BenarNews that the journalists could face charges under article 57 of Bangladesh’s 2006 Information and Communication Technology Act, which criminalizes publishing material online that is “fake and obscene” or creates a possibility of threatening “law and order.” CPJ has joined other organizations in criticizing the law as an obstacle to press freedom. A Dhaka court on August 9 agreed to a police request to hold the three for seven days. The journalists’ lawyer, Mubinul Islam, told bdnews24.com this was because the Information and Communication Technology Act requires those charged under its provisions to stand trial before a special court.
“Jailing anyone for even a day under a law as broad, vaguely worded, and restrictive as Bangladesh’s Information and Communication Technology Act is an injustice,” CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler said. “Arresting journalists for refuting a false rumor reaches the point of absurdity. Bangladesh should release Maksukul Alam, Shahadat Ullah Khan, and Pranta Palash without delay.”
Sarwar, the police officer, allowed that the banglamail24 story reported the rumor as false in his interview with BenarNews, the website reported.
“They criticized the rumor, but…they also became part of spreading rumors on the death of the Honorable Prime Minister’s son, who holds an important government post,” the news website quoted Sarwar as saying.
Separately, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission last week blocked access to 35 news websites for publishing “objectionable comments” about the government, Shahjahan Mahmood, who chairs the Commission, told BenarNews. Leaders of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and the Dhaka Union of Journalists protested the moves, according to press reports.
August 12, 2016 4:53 PM ET
Statement Condemning the Persecution of Lawyers Collective and Indira Jaising and Anand Grover by Home Ministry, GoI
We, the undersigned, unequivocally condemn the efforts of the Ministry of Home Affairs to persecute the Lawyers Collective (LC), Indira Jaising and Anand Grover in order to obstruct the legal and human rights work being carried out by them.
We condemn the suspension of the FCRA registration of LC, as well as the mala fide and motivated manner in which the Ministry of Home Affairs, in a blatant violation of law, leaked the suspension notice to the press even before providing LC with a copy of the same.
There has been a systematic campaign and abuse of the legal process by the Central Government to malign Indira Jaising and Anand Grover as well as LC over the past six months. The suspension of LC’s FCRA registration is nothing but an escalation of the Government’s campaign to crush dissent and criminalise any person or organisation that questions or opposes the violation of fundamental rights and human rights by the State and its agencies.
The motivated campaign and actions against LC fit neatly into the present Government’s concerted campaign against marginalised and oppressed sections of society and any person, whether students, activists, academics or individuals who question the policies, actions and the abuse of power by the government.
Senior Advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover have an exceptional profile of public service, probity and personal and professional integrity as lawyers and as human rights activists. Their work has received global recognition.
Ms. Indira Jaising, has made an unparalleled contribution to law and jurisprudence on gender discrimination, whether relating to women’s right to property, sexual harassment at the workplace, domestic violence etc. She has also been a member of the CEDAW Committee. Anand Grover held the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Health between 2008 to 2014. He has made a tremendous contribution to the legal campaign against the criminalisation of homosexuality; rights of persons living with HIV; and access to medicine and healthcare. Ms. Jaising and Mr. Grover, through LC have and continue to advance the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized sections of society, thereby upholding constitutional values. Instead of recognizing their invaluable contribution to the county and its people, the Government is making all efforts to obstruct their work.
Through the persecution and harassment of LC and Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, the present Government is sending a clear and chilling message to the citizens of this country that the inevitable consequence of questioning or criticising the present Government’s policies is repression and criminalisation.
LC has specifically and repeatedly countered and justified each of the bald allegations regarding misuse of funds that have been levelled by the MHA. However, the MHA has displayed an unusual vindictiveness by ignoring the official responses sent by LC and proceeding to suspend their FCRA registration.
The malafide and clear intention to malign and harass LC is evident from the fact that the MHA, in clear violation of procedure, allowed the notice of suspension of FCRA registration to be provided to the media before it was provided to LC, Ms. Jaising or Mr. Grover.
The MHA’s suspension of LC’s FCRA registration is based on the allegation that the FCRA has been violated on the following grounds:
- That the remuneration paid by LC to Ms. Jaising for certain services provided by her while she was also serving as a government servant (as the Additional Solicitor General of India) is a violation of the FCRA.
- LC in its response to the MHA has specifically stated that at this time Ms. Jaising was not a government servant.
- That the reimbursement of expenses for telephone and internet, incurred by Mr. Anand Grover while he was serving as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health were a violation of the FCRA.
- LC has denied the same and has specifically stated that the reimbursements pertained to expenses incurred for work done by Mr. Grover for LC itself.
- That LC has used funds it has received through the FCRA to organise dharnas and rallies which can be interpreted as political action in violation of the FCRA.
- This has been repeatedly denied by LC as being entirely false and baseless. LC has further stated that the only money it has spent on mobilizing communities was received from local sources or UN agencies, which is not illegal, moreover, the community mobilisation was restricted to organising people living with HIV/AIDS, which can be no means be considered a ‘political activity’
The allegations against LC are motivated, absurd and feeble, and display nothing but a desperate attempt by the Government and MHA to persecute persons who are able to challenge and highlight the egregious violation of human rights that the present Government is committing, condoning and is complicit in.
It is therefore no surprise that the targetting of LC and Ms. Jaising and Mr Grover began subsequent to their legal representation and intervention in certain cases. Ms. Jaising and Mr. Grover have legally challenged the discharge of BJP National President Mr. Amit Shah who was an accused in the fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausar Bi and Tulsiram Prajapati. Ms. Jaising has represented Priya Pillai who challenged the Central Government’s action of preventing her from attending a conference abroad and critiquing Government’s policies on allowing corporations to acquire and mine lands belonging to farmers and others. Mr. Grover had represented Yakub Memon in challenging the death sentence awarded to him before the Supreme Court.
We stand in solidarity with Indira Jaising, Anand Grover, and all their colleagues at LC.
We condemn all efforts to obstruct their work, and to harass and persecute them.
We are confident that LC, Indira Jaising and Anand Grover will not be deterred by the malicious and vindictive campaign unleashed by the Government and we are confident that they will continue to work to uphold Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights.
We appeal to all those who support the right to dissent, question and criticize anti-people policies of the government to express their solidarity.
|1||All India Blue Star Employees’ Federation|
|2||All India Democratic Women’s Association|
|3||All India Blue Star Employees’ Federation|
|4||Aman Biradari Trust|
|5||Amnesty International India|
|6||Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI)|
|7||Association for Promotion of Sustainable Development, Hisar|
|8||Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch (MASUM)|
|9||Beyond Beijing Committee|
|10||Borok Peoples’ Human Rights Organisation|
|11||Centre for Equity Studies|
|12||Centre for Human Rights and Development|
|13||Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion|
|14||Civil Society Forum on Human Rights|
|15||Community Legal Education Center|
|16||Deen Bandhu Sahayata Samiti (DBSS)|
|18||Evironment Support Group, Bangalore|
|19||Forum Against Oppression of Women|
|20||Gonggam Human Rights Law Foundation|
|22||HAQ Centre for Child Rights|
|23||Ideosync Media Combine|
|24||Indian Social Institute|
|25||INSAF – Indian Social Action Forum|
|26||Institute of Development Education, Action & Studies (IDEAS), Madurai|
|28||Kamani Employees’ Union|
|29||LABIA – A Queer Feminist LBT Collective, Mumbai|
|30||Law Life Culture, Bangladesh|
|32||Mahan Sangarsh Samiti, Madhya Pradesh|
|33||Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights|
|34||Nari Shakti Manch, Gurgaon|
|35||National Alliance Group for Denotifed and Nomadic Tribe (NAG – DNT)|
|36||National Commission for Justice and Peace|
|37||National Foundation for India|
|38||New Trade Union Initiative|
|40||Peoples Union For Civil Liberties|
|42||Programme Against Custodial Torture and Impunity (PACTI)|
|44||Saheli Women’s Resource Centre|
|45||South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), Canada|
|46||South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM)|
|48||Wada Na Todo Abhiyan|
|49||Women in Governance (WinG)|
|50||WSS (Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repressions)|
|1||Aaditya Deskhmukh||Symbiosis Law School, Pune|
|2||Aakar Patel||Amnesty International India|
|3||Aarthi Pai||Lawyer, Bangalore|
|7||Adilur Rahman Khan||Odhikar|
|8||Aditya Nigam||Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)|
|9||Aditya Shrivastava||Support Cell for Civil Society Organisations|
|10||Ajay Bhardwaj||Documentary Filmmaker|
|11||Ajay Kumar VB||RIGHTS, Trivandrum|
|12||Ajaya Kumar Singh|
|13||Akhand||Human Rights Activist, Odisha|
|19||Amitabh Behar||National Foundation for India|
|21||Amrita Johri||Satark Nagrik Sangathan|
|22||Amritra Sudan Chakrabortty||MANAB, West Bengal|
|23||Anand Lakhan||Deen Bandhu Sahayata Samiti (DBSS)|
|25||Anjali Bhardwaj||Satark Nagrik Sangathan|
|27||Anubha Rajesh||Senior Manager||ICF International|
|29||Apoorvanand||University of Delhi|
|30||Arun Jindal||Society for Sustainable Development, Rajasthan|
|34||Asad Zaidi||Three Essays Collective|
|36||Ashish Kothari||Kalpavriksh, Pune|
|38||Ashok Kumar Singh||South Asia Center for Bhojpuri Studies|
|43||B.S. Ajeetha||Advocate, Chennai|
|44||Babloo Loitongbham||Human Rights Alert|
|46||Bezwada Wilson||Safai Karamchari Andolan|
|47||Bharti Ali||HAQ Centre for Child Rights|
|49||Bijoy Basant Patro|
|50||Bindu N Doddahatti||Advocate|
|51||Biplab Mukherjee||Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch (MASUM)|
|52||Biraj Patnaik||Centre for Equity Studies|
|57||Chirashree Ghosh||Senior Manager||Mobile Creches|
|58||D. Thankappan||Kamani Employees’ Union|
|59||D.W. Karuna||Researcher, Chennai|
|62||Denzil Fernandes SJ||Executive Director||Indian Social Institute|
|63||Devika Singh||Mobile Creches|
|64||Dr. Ambrose Pinto SJ||Principal||St. Aloysius Degree College, Bangalore|
|65||Dr. Aurobindo Ghose||Advocate|
|66||Dr. Gabriele Deitrich||Madurai|
|67||Dr. Gnana Prakasam||Executive Director||Centre for World Solidarity|
|68||Dr. Goldy M. George||Chief Editor||Journal of People’s Studies|
|69||Dr. Indira Hirway||Director and Professor of Economics||Centre for Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad|
|70||Dr. J. Vincent Manoharan||Lawyer, Dalit Rights Defender|
|71||Dr. Jasveen Jairath||Water Sector Professional and Activist|
|72||Dr. Meena Dhanda||Reader in Philosophy and Cultural Polictics|
|73||Dr. Mira Shiva|
|74||Dr. Mohan Rao||Professor||Jawaharlal Nehru University|
|75||Dr. Nandita Gandhi||Social Researcher and Activist, Mumbai|
|76||Dr. Nandita Shah||Women’s Rights Activist, Mumbai|
|77||Dr. Narendra Gupta||PRAYAS, Chittorgarh|
|78||Dr. Nimalka Fernando||President||IMADR|
|79||Dr. Sandeep Pandey|
|80||Dr. Shakeel||Executive Director||Centre for Health and Resource Management|
|81||Dr. Shilpa Phadke||Tata Institute of Social Sciences|
|82||Dr. Sophy K.J.||Assistant Professor||National Law University, Delhi|
|83||Dr. Sunita Bandewar||Research Professional in Global Health and Bioethics, Pune|
|84||Dr. Vandana Prasad|
|85||Dr. Vikas Bajpai||Assistant Professor||Jawaharlal Nehru University|
|86||Dr. Walter Fernandes||Senior Fellow||North Eastern Social Research Centre|
|88||Enakshi Ganguly||HAQ Centre for Child Rights|
|89||Farah Naqvi||Writer and Activist|
|90||Fr. Cedric Prakash||Human Rights Activist|
|92||Gautam Mody||General Secretary||New Trade Union Initiative|
|93||Geetha Nambisan||Management Professional|
|94||Ghanshyam Shah||Retired Professor||Jawaharlal Nehru University|
|95||Haris Azhar||KontraS, Indonesia|
|98||Harsh Mander||Aman Biradari|
|100||Hazel D’Lima||Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai|
|102||Henri Tiphagne||Human Rights Defenders’ Alert – India|
|103||Indu Prakash Singh||National Convenor||National Forum for Housing Rights|
|104||Ingrid Srinath||HIVOS India.|
|108||James Dabhi||Research Director||Human Development and Research Centre, Ahmedabad|
|110||Javed Anand||Journalist and Human Rights Activist|
|111||Jaya Iyer||Zinda Dilli|
|112||Jayati Ghosh||Jawaharlal Nehru University|
|115||John Dalton||Arogyam Agam|
|116||John Dayal||Activist and writer|
|117||John Harriss||Simon Fraser University, Canada|
|120||K Ashok Rao|
|121||K. Joshi||Human Rights Defender, Andhra Pradesh|
|124||Kalyani Menon-Sen||Feminist Learning Partnerships|
|126||Kamayani Bali Mahabal||Human Rights Activist, Mumbai|
|128||Karthik Bittu||University of Hyderabad|
|129||Kavita Krishnan||All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA)|
|132||Kumar John||Director||Social Watch, Chennai|
|133||Kumar Kalanand Mani||Peaceful Society|
|135||Lakshan Dias||Lawyer||Lakshan Dias Associates|
|136||Lata Singh||Jawaharlal Nehru University|
|137||Lesley Esteves||LGBT Rights Activist|
|138||M. A. Patil||Vice President||New Trade Union Initiative|
|142||Maitreyi Gupta||Women’s Rights Lawyer, Bangkok|
|143||Mallika Sarabhai||Social Activist|
|144||Mamta Borgoyary||CEO||FXB India Suraksha|
|145||Mandeep Tiwana||Head of Policy and Research||CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation|
|146||Manisha Gupte||Women’s Health Activist, Pune|
|147||Manisha Sethi||Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association|
|148||Manohar Elavarthi||Political Activist, Bangalore|
|151||Mary E John||Professor||Centre for Women’s Development Studies|
|153||Maya Shanker||Sangini, New Delhi|
|155||Meena Gopal||Tata Institute of Social Sciences|
|165||Mukul Mangalik||Ramjas College, University of Delhi|
|166||N. D. Pancholi||PUCL|
|167||N. Vasudevan||President||New Trade Union Initiative|
|169||Nafisa D’Souza||Executive Director||LAYA, Visakhapatnam|
|170||Nalini Taneja||Delhi University|
|173||Nandini Sundar||Delhi University|
|174||Nandita Narain||Associate Professor||St. Stephen’s College|
|177||Neelima Sharma||Theatre Person|
|178||Neeru Bhatnagar||Mobile Creches|
|181||Nirmala Karunan||Greenpeace India|
|182||Nishit Kumar||CHILDLINE India Foundation|
|184||Nivedita Menon||Jawaharlal Nehru University|
|185||Ovais Sultan Khan||ANHAD|
|186||P. Joseph Victor Raj||HOPE, Puducherry|
|190||Padmini Swaminathan||Professor||Tata Institute of Social Sciences|
|193||Paul Divakar||National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights|
|196||Prabhat Patnaik||Economist and Political Commentator|
|197||Pradeep Baisakh||Social Activist and Independent Journalist|
|198||Pradeep Esteves||Developmental Activist||Context India|
|199||Pradipta Nayak||IHRE, Odisha|
|202||Prasad Chacko||Director||Human Development and Research Centre, Ahmedabad|
|204||Priya Pillai||Greenpeace India|
|205||Prof. Anuradha Chenoy|
|206||Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy|
|207||Prof. Kim, Yong-Bock||Chancellor||Asia Pacific Center for Integral Study of Life|
|208||Purnima Upadhyay||Khoj, Melghat|
|212||PVS Giridhar||Advocate, Chennai|
|216||Rajalakshmi Sriram||Professor Emeritus||University of Baroda|
|217||Rajendra Sail||Former President||PUCL Chhattisgarh|
|219||Ram Puniyani||All India Secular Forum|
|223||Rita Manchanda||South Asia Forum for Human Rights|
|224||Rita Taku||ACR, Arunachal Pradesh|
|225||Ritambhara Mehta||Nazariya: A Queer Feminist Resource Group|
|226||Rituparna Borah||Nazariya: A Queer Feminist Resource Group|
|227||Roger Gaikwad||General Secretary||NCCI|
|228||Rohit Prajapati||Activist, Gujarat|
|229||Roma||All India Union of Forest Working People|
|231||Ruki Fernando||Human Rights Activist, Sri Lanka|
|232||Rupal Oza||Associate Professor||Hunter College, City University of New York|
|235||Sandhya Srinivasan||Indian Journal of Medical Ethics|
|237||Sandya Srinivasan||Indian Journal of Medical Ethics|
|238||Sarojini N. B.|
|240||Satish Singh||Forum to Engage Men (FEM)|
|247||Sharmila Purkayastha||Miranda House|
|248||Shashi Sail||Chhattisgarh Mahila Jagriti Sangathan|
|249||Sister Carol Geeta||Sameeksha, Ajmer|
|250||Sister Superior||Sameeksha, Ajmer|
|251||Sreedharan Nair||Independent Consultant|
|252||Stalin K||Video Volunteers|
|254||Subash Mohapatra||Global Human Rights Communications|
|255||Subhash Mendhapurkar||SUTRA, Himachal Pradesh|
|257||Sudeshna Sengupta||Mobile Creches|
|258||Sudhir Kumar Katiyar||Dakshini Rajasthan Majdoor Union|
|259||Suhas Kolhekar||Vikalpa Sangam|
|261||Sujata Ghotoskar||Researcher and Activist, Mumbai|
|262||Sujata Patel||President||Indian Sociological Society|
|267||Svati P. Shah|
|272||Teesta Setalvad||Journalist and Human Rights Activist|
|274||Theo van Boven||Former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture|
|275||Thomas Pallithanam||People’s Action for Rural Awakening|
|276||Udaya Kalupathirana||Human Rights Activist, Sri Lanka|
|281||V. Vasanthi Devi||Former Chairperson||Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women|
|282||V.B. Chandrasekaran||Chatti Mahatma Gandhi Aashramam, Andhra Pradesh|
|284||Vani Subramanian||Saheli Women’s Resource Centre|
|287||Veena Shatrugna||Former Deputy Director||National Institute of Nutrition|
|288||Venu Arora||Executive Director||Ideosync Media Combine|
|291||Vijayan MJ||General Secretary||Programme for Social Action|
|292||Vikash Kumar||Consultant||Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)|
|293||Vineet Tiwari||General Secretary||Madhya Pradesh Progressive Writers Association|
|295||Virginia Saldanha||Indian Christian Women’s Movement.|
|296||Vrinda Grover||Advocate and Activist|
|298||William Gomes||Journalist, UK|
|300||Xavier Dias||Editor||Khan Kaneej aur Adhikar|