Kashmir’s chief cleric and Jammu and Kashmir Hurriyat Conference (m) chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday said that the political prisoners languishing in different jails of Jammu and Kashmir including Jammu central jail, Kotbalwal Jail, Kathua Jail and in Tihar jail New Delhi are being subjected to inhuman treatment.
Addressing a massive Friday congregation in Jammu and Kashmir’s historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, Mirwaiz said that the information received from jails regarding the plight of detainees is deeply disturbing and a matter of serious concern for the leadership and the people of Kashmir.
He said that it is aimed to break their will and determination and affect them psychologically. Mirwaiz said that these detainees are not criminals but political prisoners who have been ddetained for their political convictions and outlook and dealing with them inhumanly is not only a violation of the Geneva conventions of the human rights and dignity of prisoners but even against basic human practices and ethics.
Mirwaiz, who is one of the three top resistance leaders in Kashmir, said that the vengeful treatment to which the prisoners are being subjected to during detention includes off and on solitary confinement, manhandling of leadership by dreaded criminals posing a grave threat to their lives, unavailability of medicines and medical care and substandard quality of food.
He said that even the visitors and relatives who come to see them in jail are also delibeately harassed and tormented by the authorities. “All this is done in complete violation of the jail manual which lays emphasis on the honor and dignity of prisoners,” he said.
Mirwaiz termed the silence of international organizations towards the plight of Kashmiri prisoners as unfortunate and stated that there are dozens of prisoners who have already completed their term but continue to languish in prisons while many prisoners are under trials whose trials are repeatedly deferred. He said that even when the prisoners lodged under the notorious PSA complete their term, police and agencies are ready with another dossier to prolong their detention mostly under “fictitious” charges.
He said that we have been repeatedly appealing Indian and international human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Asia watch and ICRC to get a firsthand account of this pathetic situation of Kashmiri prisoners by on spot inspection of jails where Kashmiri prisoners are lodged to see for themselves what they are going through and take up the matter with the Indian Government. He said it is their moral and legal duty.