MIRPUR (AJK) - Kashmiri leader Altaf Hussain Wani expressed serious concern over the continued acts of intimidation and reprisal against journalists and human rights activists working in the disputed territory of Indian-Held Kashmir.

Altaf Hussain Wani, who headed an eight-member Kashmiri delegation in the debate held under agenda item 5 of the 34th Session of United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, said that the journalists working in the disputed territory were threatened by the Indian forces.

“Journalists walk on razor’s edge in Indian occupied Kashmir while covering daily events. They are often subjected to torture and detained arbitrarily by occupation forces,” Wani made these remarks while taking part in the debate, says a message released to the media.

He said the international audience that human rights defenders and journalists who do not toe the government policy in Indian occupied Kashmir were facing severe hardships as government agencies continue to intimidate and harass them on one pretext or the other. “Local human rights activists are summoned to police stations, questioned for their work and forced to put forward the viewpoint of the occupation authority,” he said. He added that noted rights activists Khurram Parvez was not allowed to attend the 33rd session of the UNHRC as he was arrested under the draconian Public Safety Act.

Wani pointed out that preventive detention laws as well as sections in the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code that allow preventive detention are applied arbitrarily to harass, intimidate, or obstruct peaceful protests by rights defenders.

He observed that government of India’s blunt refusal to allow OHCHR fact-finding mission to Indian-occupied Kashmir and its unwillingness to facilitate the country visits of Working Group on Enforced Disappearance, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Special Rappoteur on Torture, and its reluctance to implement the recommendations of Special Rappoteurs speak volumes about Indian arrogant and aggressive attitude toward UN Human Rights systems.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 20-Mar-2017 here.