Srinagar, Jan 29: Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Chairman, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai on Tuesday reiterated its deep concern for political prisoners in Kashmir and demanded immediate release of all the prisoners.
“We call on the authorities to release all political prisoners and to stop its arbitrary detention of political leaders, activists and independent thinkers who criticize and demands their fundamental and political birth right,” Sehrai said in a statement issued here.
He said majority of Kashmiri prisoners have been shifted from Valley to various outside prisons in brazen violation of the Geneva Convention that emphasis on keeping the prisoners in prisons closer to their homes and also Supreme Court verdict.
Expressing strong dismay, Sehrai questioned the silence of Human Rights organizations across the globe and in India that stand for upholding the rights of prisoners especially those that are in prisons for their political beliefs as the political prisoners from J&K.
Sehrai said the government has to understand that the prisoners inside the jails are also like other people living outside the prison. “Therefore, just like those people, prisoners are also entitled to all the rights implemented in different laws within the limits of prison and these rights should not be denied to them just because they are inside the protected walls,” he said.
He said the impact of imprisonment on the health of a political prisoner during the imprisonment and also the post imprisonment health issues is a serious concern and it is important to know if at all they are given any kind of medical care facility, which is their fundamental right and not a plea, during the imprisonment period.
Sehrai demanded an end to the ‘state culture of harassment’ and intimidation through spurious court cases against peaceful political dissenters. “The prolonged and in many cases perpetual detention of Kashmiri inmates is the worst form of human rights violations,” he said.
Moreover, there are many Kashmiris who have been rotting in jails in Kashmir as well as outside Kashmir over several years, some without trial which includes an overwhelming majority of prisoners who are denied a fair chance to defend themselves in court, he said.
He said “the government has failed to maintain the fundamentals of democracy, which they claimed but never existed in Kashmir.”
While extended his condolence and grief over the demise of Habib-ullah Shah of Langate Handwara, whose son Peer Zahoor Ahmad Shah is languishing in Tihar jail since last two months during same time lost his beloved father few days back, Sehrai demanded his immediate release.
Meanwhile, condemning the detention and alleged nocturnal raids on residence of District President Baramulla (TeH) Molvi Mufti Abdul Ahad and his brother’s residence Mohd Shafi Rather Tarzoo Sopore and arresting his two sons said it is “extremely unwise” to deny political space and muzzle the voices.