British lawmakers have joined the Kashmiri diaspora and their allies on International Women’s Day to urge the British government to force India to end its inhumane actions and end its occupation of the Jammu and Kashmir.
Several British lawmakers have joined Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK at 10 Downing Street to submit a petition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging his government to speak out about human rights abuses, including the violation of women’s rights in Jammu- Illegally Occupied Indian Kashmir (IIOJK).
The petition, signed by British parliamentarians and the general public, includes reports prepared by various international independent and non-governmental organizations on the violence perpetrated by Indian occupying forces on Kashmiri women and urges the Boris government to use its influence to end the Indian Kashmiris genocide.
British lawmakers including Afzal Khan, Liam Byrne, Imran Hussain, Paul Blomfield, Gill Furniss, Muhammad Yasin, Khalid Mehmood, Tahir Ali and Yasmin Qureshi joined the Kashmiri delegation led by Fahim Kayani, President Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK, besides Rehana Ali, Sheni Hamid and Soraya Boyd and Raja Muhammad Azad.
“Every day Indian occupying forces violate the dignity of our daughters, sisters and mothers at IIOJK,” said Fahim Kayani, President of TeK UK.
He said that the presence of one million Indian troops in a foreign territory, i.e. IIOJK, is in itself a violation of all human and fundamental rights of that territory.
“Indian forces have committed countless cases of sexual assault and other anti-women acts. This occupying force has become a beast that engages in acts of mass violence against Kashmiri women,” Kayani said.
British lawmakers have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to use his good offices and hold India accountable.
“The UK has the power and influence to end Indian actions in Kashmir and allow Kashmiris to decide their political fate,” they said.
Additionally, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) expressed their deep concern over the mistreatment of human rights defenders in India and the illegally occupied Indian Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
MEPs expressed this concern in a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior Indian constitutional authorities.
They argued that the activists have been “imprisoned for their peaceful work, targeted under anti-terrorism laws, labeled as terrorists and [are] in the face of growing restrictions.
MEPs highlighted three specific cases: the arrest of 16 activists and academics in the Elgar Parishad case, the continued arrest of 13 activists and students in connection with the Citizenship Act (CAA) protests and detention of Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez.
In the letter, MPs noted the systemic use of draconian law like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to quash dissent, which has been widely condemned, including by sitting judges and the retirement from the Supreme Court.
MEPs expressed concern over the use of “illegal spyware and/or the implantation of key digital evidence on defendants’ computers”, citing reports of the use of Pegasus and Netwire spyware to target part of the Elgar Parishad case.
They demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all those detained without basis in “retaliation for their human rights work.”—KMS