The President of United States of America, Joseph Biden,,
“You might be aware India has been hit by a lethal Covid19 wave which has so far claimed lives of tens of thousands of people besides leaving millions infected. And it has also now become obvious that Indian state is not in a position to meet with the colossal challenges imposed by the pandemic.
In such scary circumstances, the Kashmiri political prisoners lodged in Indian jails continue to be at the risk of contracting the deadly virus. In absence of the existing healthcare system, it becomes amply clear that jail authorities are not in a position to accommodate the rapidly increasing the number of COVID infected cases of Kashmiri prisoners- most of whom have been booked under frivolous charges.`
This has been reported by various international human rights organisations and international press that India is repressing the political dissent in Kashmir through illegal detentions. We centrally demand the release of all Kashmiri political prisoners – including leaders of under indefinite house arrest and hundreds of children and teenagers detained under brutal conditions – and an end to the state culture of harassment and intimidation through spurious court cases against peaceful political dissenters.
According to the Muhammad Ahsan Untoo Chairman International Federation of Human Rights Jammu Kashmir (IFJHRJK), over 1200 prisoners, including 14 females, have been lodged in Kashmir and Indian jails. In notorious Tihar jail of India, 73 Kashmiri prisoners are lodged, in Agra city of Uttar Pradesh 16 prisoners, in Karnal Haryana 31 prisoners, and Punjab Sangroor, 17 prisoners.
The family members of prisoners are extremely worried and concerned about the safety of their jailed loved ones since they believe the government of India has intentionally put their lives on the risk by not releasing them during the raging pandemic. Their worries have been lent credence as several Kashmiris have contracted the corona virus in jails.
One Separatist leader Ashraf Sehraie, who was arbitrarily detained since past 11 months and was lodged in faraway Udhampur jail, died under custody of police. The government said he died of covid19 while the family termed his death as a “murder”. They said that Sehraie was not provided medical aid despite please.
Similarly, the relatives of other prisoners have been sending SOS messages, calling for the release of the other detained leaders. The daughters of separatist leader, Shahid-ul-Islam, have written to Indian interior minister for the release of their father who is lodged in Tihar jail since 2017. Their father is suffering from Covid19 and needs medical care. He is also suffering from other health ailments which have put his life at risk. Other than that, the relatives of the prisoners have been making fervent calls for the release of political prisoners since they are getting information that many prisoners die due to covid19, and jails have no infrastructure or resources to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.
We have faith in the international community that they will come forward to ensure that justice is done to all those innocents who have been in Indian and Kashmiri jails for years now without any trial and charges.
Here is the list of political prisoners currently lodged in Kashmir, Jammu and Indian jails
(names with held)
Knowing the severity of the problem posed by the pandemic, the IFJHRJK demands immediate release of all Kashmiri political prisoners purely on humanitarian grounds in view of the raging pandemic and lack of existing infrastructure and resources within prisons to deal with the deadly corona virus.
The IFJHRJK also demands that the prisoners lodged in faraway places from their homes should be shifted back to the nearest prisons so that in case emergency arises, their relatives are in a position to provide immediate succour,” (SIC)