fb
fb

PR No.164
STATEMENT BY COUNSELLOR, MS. SAIMA SALEEM DURING THE INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH WORKING GROUP ON ENFORCED OR INVOLUNTARY DISAPPEARANCES
Islamabad: October 19, 2021


Mr. Chair, We thank the Chairperson for the briefing. 2. Enforced disappearances not only place individuals outside the protection of law but also deprive them of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. Enforced disappearance, which is a crime against humanity, is the grim reality of the 7 decade long protracted Kashmir conflict, says a press release received here today from New York. 3. In Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, enforced disappearances have led to torture, custodial killings, rape and sexual molestations, arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial killings and traumatizing victim’s families. 4. Thousands of unmarked and unknown graves of victims of enforced disappearances have surfaced in the last few years. From the investigations held so far, these victims are first disappeared by occupation forces and then tortured to death or summarily executed. According to Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, the occupying power continues to be in denial about the 8000 enforced and involuntarily disappeared persons from IOK and is reluctant to carry out forensic investigations into the 7000+ unmarked mass graves. 5. OHCHR, in its two reports of 2018 and 2019 have recommended to “ensure independent, impartial and credible investigations into all unmarked graves in the state of Jammu and Kashmir”. 6. In IIOJ&K, the family members of victims of enforced disappearance face extreme hardships and trauma. Not only do they not know the whereabouts of their loved ones for many years, they also have to endure economic hardships, especially, women and children as most of the victims of enforced disappearance are male family members who have left behind their wives and children or mother and siblings. There are thousands of half-widows/wives of victims of enforced disappearances who do not even know whether their husbands are dead or alive or whether they will ever return. They cannot re-marry and are living in perpetual anguish and trauma. 7. We would like to request the Chairperson to elaborate: (a) How WGEID is pursuing investigation of thousands of cases of enforced disappearances from IIOJ&K. (b) What measures have been undertaken by WGEID to call on India to provide reparation and compensation to victims of enforced disappearances and their family members in IIOJ&K. I thank you.
*-*-*-*

PREVIOUS NEXT