Restriction of Indian human rights defender’s freedom of movement

Who we wrote to

The prime minister of India, Narendra Modi.

What’s the issue

We’re concerned about the travel restrictions imposed on human rights defender Khurram Parvez.

Mr Parvez is chair of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances and programme coordinator of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society in India.

He was due to take a flight to Geneva on 14 September 2016 where he was scheduled to attend the UN Human Rights Council.

Mr Parvez was also going to present a report on alleged human rights violations committed against street protesters during the security force crackdown in Jammu and Kashmir.

We also understand that Mr Parvez was planning to attend a European Union session in Brussels.

Immigration officials, who were allegedly following instructions from an official of the Intelligence Bureau, prevented Mr Parvez from boarding his flight.

He was arrested the following day in his home and detained under “preventative detention” on the grounds of incitement to violence in Kashmir.

We understand that the principal district and sessions judge determined that the detention orders against Mr Parvez should be set aside and that he should be released from custody.

The next day, the Jammu and Kashmir government invoked the Public Safety Act and ordered that Mr Parvez be transported to Kotbalwal prison.

We’re concerned that Mr Parvez’s arrest is linked to his criticism of the actions of authorities in Kashmir and his role as a human rights defender.

What we asked for

We urged the relevant authorities to:

  • release Mr Parvez from detention without delay
  • provide a comprehensive explanation of why these actions were taken against Mr Parvez
  • ensure that human rights defenders and lawyers can carry out their professional duties without harassment, threats or intimidation

Timeline

14 September 2016 – Mr Parvez was prevented from boarding his flight to Geneva

15 September 2016 – Mr Parvez was arrested and detained

20 September 2016 – the principal district and sessions judge held that Mr Parvez should be released from custody

21 September 2016 – the Jammu and Kashmir government ordered that Mr Parvez be transported to Kotbalwal prison