MIRPUR (AJK)-The Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) urged the United Nations and the Human Rights Council to pressurise India into abiding by its international commitments and the recommendations submitted by the KIIR.

In a letter addressed to the authorities concerned, KIIR Programme Director Altaf Hussain Wani pointed out that India would be among the first 14 countries whose human rights record will come under review in the first phase of the 3rd cycle starting from 4th of May to 14th of May 2017. It submitted parallel report for Universal Periodic Review starting from February, 2017.

“Since the creation of this procedure India came under review twice. In both the cycles, India came under heavy criticism from international human rights organisations, international human rights treaty bodies, United Nations Special Procedures, Indian Civil Society and even from Indian’s own national human rights commissions,” the communique said.

It said that during 2nd cycle, in 2012, India was handed over 172 recommendations by international community to improve its human rights record. “Out of 172 recommendations 71 came from United Nations human rights mechanism, treaty bodies and special procedures while 101 received from different international as well as Indian NGO’s including National Human Rights Commission of India,” it said.

It stated that almost 95 NGOs submitted parallel reports, 33% of the recommendations were about the discrimination against Dalits and other religious minorities in India, whereas 27% of the recommendations were about repealing of Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act and other draconian legislations which facilitate human rights violations and provide impunity to armed forces.

The KIIR letter maintained that Special Rapporteurs on situation of human rights defenders and extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary execution asked India to repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Public Safety Act and ratify CAT & CED without any delay.

The KIIR asked the government of India to adopt and comply with the principles of international human rights and UN mechanisms such as the UN Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies, to protect and promote human rights in the country.

It asked the government to extend invitations to all UN Special Rapporteurs, particularly related to the rights of freedom of opinion, expression, assemblies, association, privacy, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, SR on torture and other inhuman degrading treatment, working group on enforced disappearances.

Urging India to repeal the black laws prevalent in the disputed state of Jammu Kashmir, the KIIR letter stated that India should respect the international law. “India should also allow an unhindered access to ICRC, MSF and UNMOGIP and OHCHR fact -finding mission to Jammu and Kashmir and oblige the request of United Nations High Commissioners,” he said. There was a dire need that India should ensure freedom of travel, including grant of travel documents to people of J&K regardless of political thoughts, affiliations or activities, he added.