Pak urges Int’l community to address protracted violence against women in IIOJ&K: FO

CPJ pushes India to end targeting journalists in IIOJ&K

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Pakistan has urged the international community to play its role to address the systematic violence against women in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).

In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said the incidents of systematic violence and mass rapes in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir have been documented by a number of independent Commissions, human rights organizations, global media and civil society organizations, including the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

He said today, we sadly remember the horrific incident of mass rape of Kashmiri women in Kunan and Poshpora villages of IIOJK on this day in 1991. He said the fateful day continues to remain a scar on collective memory of the international community.

The Spokesperson said lack of accountability of perpetrators and absence of justice for victims continue to define India’s deliberate disregard for rule of law and human rights.

He said India has employed rape, torture, degrading treatment and killings of Kashmiri women as instruments of state terrorism in the occupied territory.

Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said these state sanctioned heinous crimes have further intensified since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August 2019.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent watchdog body, has called on authorities in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) to drop their investigations into the work of journalists — Yashraj Sharma, Mir Junaid, and Sajad Gul — and let them to report without interference.

On January 31, the IIOJK authorities opened criminal investigations into Sharma, a reporter at The Kashmirwalla news website, and Junaid, a reporter at The Kashmiriyat news website, for alleged incitement, according to news reports.

On February 12, police began investigation into Gul, a freelance journalist who contributes to The Kashmirwalla, for allegedly taking part in an illegal demonstration against home demolitions, the reports said.

“Journalists Yashraj Sharma, Mir Junaid, and Sajad Gul should be allowed to do their jobs without harassment, intimidation, and criminal investigations from Kashmiri authorities,” Aliya Iftikhar, CPJ’s senior Asia researcher, said in a statement.
“Jammu and Kashmir Police must drop their investigations into all three journalists and stop targeting journalists because of their reporting.”

Both Shah and Shibli told CPJ that their reporters were not given copies of the complaint, and they found out about the police investigation through social media. If charged and convicted, Sharma and Junaid could face up to three years in prison.

On February 2, a court rejected Shah and Sharma’s petition for pre-emptive bail, which would exempt the journalists from detention during the investigation, and both are now petitioning Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Shah told CPJ.

The investigation into Gul stems from an article he published on February 9, in which residents of Hajin, a town in Bandipora district, in north Occupied Kashmir, alleged that local government official had threatened them and forcefully demolished their homes, Gul told CPJ.
Gul denied partaking in such a demonstration, and told CPJ that he was in Srinagar, about 40 miles from Bandipora, on February 10.

Gul also told CPJ that the police had not given him a copy of the complaint, and have merely mentioned the counts on which he is being investigated. If charged and convicted, Gul could face up to two years of imprisonment.

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