(Excerpts from a statement signed by intellectuals and activists globally. Since this statement was released, Khurram Parvez was released on orders of the Court and then rearrested immediately and booked under the draconian Public Safety Act.)
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
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 shut down 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.
Abdul R. JanMohamed, Professor, University of California, Berkeley; Amitava Kumar, Vassar College; Angana Chatterji, Feminist Scholar; Arundhati Roy, Author; Ather Zia, University of Northern Colorado; Basharat Peer, Writer; Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University; Dibyesh Anand, University of Westminster; Gautam Navlakha, PUDR; Gloria Steinem, Feminist Organizer; Harsh Mander, Writer and Activist; Kavita Krishnan, Politburo Member, CPI (ML)-Liberation; Mary Aileen Diez Bacalso, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances; Mihir Desai, Senior Counsel, Supreme Court of India; Mirza Waheed, Novelist; Mohamad Junaid, City University of New York; Mona Bhan, DePauw University; Mridu Rai, Presidency University, Kolkata; Noam Chomsky; Paola Bacchetta, University of California, Berkeley; Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University; Rajvinder Singh Bains, Counsel, Punjab High Court and Haryana High Court; Sanjay Kak, Filmmaker; Shohini Ghosh, Jamia Millia Islamia; Suddhabrata Sengupta; Suvir Kaul, University of Pennsylvania; Teesta Setalvad; Urvashi Butalia; Veena Das, Vrinda Grover, and many others.