- By Abdul Majid Zargar
Physicians for Human rights (PHR) is a New-York based, noble peace prize winner, international organization which attempts to use Science & Medicine to prevent human rights violations around the world. In its report of December 2016, Kashmir has found a special mention with respect to latest intifada post killing of Burhan Wani in July 2016. The relevant extracts of the report are reproduced hereunder:
“In July 2016, the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir erupted in protests against the killing of prominent militant leader Burhan Wani by security forces. In the violent clashes that ensued between Indian authorities and protesters, at least 87 people were killed and thousands injured. The State used excessive and indiscriminate use of force against protesters by Indian state police and Central Reserve Police Forces with weapons misleadingly represented as “less than lethal.” These included tear gas grenades, pepper gas shells, live ammunition, and 12-gauge shotguns loaded with metal pellets, which account for the majority of injuries. While Indian authorities claimed that the use of these weapons was meant to reduce the potential for injuries or fatalities, PHR researchers found that their use had in fact caused serious injury and death.
PHR also found that authorities actively impeded protestors’ access to urgent medical care, both by harassing medical workers attempting to treat protesters and by preventing doctors from reaching the hospitals where they work. PHR documented several instances where police were present at hospitals and monitored protesters being admitted for treatment. They were reported to have asked for the names and medical information of patients admitted at the end of the day in order to later arrest them for unlawful assemblies.
The excessive use of force and the intimidation tactics employed by authorities against medical workers attempting to treat the injured violate India’s obligation to protect the rights to life, health, and freedom of expression and assembly. The police response to these protests shows complete indifference to the international standards and principles guiding the use of force, and a lack of accountability leaves security forces free rein to further abuse their power.”
Human rights structure was erected in 1940s & 1950s after two brutal world wars and the failure of international community to prevent Nazi Germany’s Holocaust against Jews which gave birth to International Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention. The United Nations was made custodian of these rights and tasked with the primary objective of ensuring international enforcement of these rights . It was also authorized to take appropriate action, including use of Force, against erring member States.
But the UN and its accredited agencies have miserably failed to restrain India from committing grave human rights violations amounting to war crimes & crimes against humanity in Kashmir. Name any crime which has not been committed by rogue State & its security apparatus in Kashmir. It has killed unarmed people by firing on peaceful protestors. It has killed intellectuals & human rights defenders of Kashmir through covert operations(Dr. Guru, Jaleel Andrabi for instance). It has committed individual & mass rape of women, rape of daughters in front of mothers & rape of newly wed brides (Kunanposhpura, Budsgam incidents). It has burnt people alive in live infernos (Sopore incident of Jannuary1993). It has indulged in involuntary & enforced disappearances & created a long trail of half-widows & half-orphans ,making Kashmir a unique place in the world to contribute new words to human right lexicons. It has buried thousands in unmarked graves and has the audacity to deny identification of such graves. It has destroyed & damaged properties on a large scale. It has blinded, fully or partially, hundreds of youth through use of deadly pellets It has denied medical aid to wailing injured (See Report of physicians for human rights) . Even human rights defender, Khurram Parvez was recently imprisoned under the draconian Public safety Act, a lawless law, to prevent him to report to the world, the Indian atrocities in Kashmir . These grave crimes should have, in the normal course, seen India in the international dock long ago but the inertia of the United Nations Human Rights Council has not only enabled India to escape a serious trial but allowed it to continue with its nefarious pogrom. There are strong reasons to believe that present UN General secretary, Ban-ki-Moon has allowed his personal relations with India to act as a shield to her wrongdoings. Ban’s daughter is married to an India and by his own admission he has a special affinity towards India.
Organizations affiliated with UN such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) mandated with reporting and organizing campaigns in response to the crimes of states have also failed in respect of India. They were accorded special status in the United Nations to promote moral agendas such as human rights and international law .The purpose was that they give testimony, submit reports, and make recommendations in order to improve human rights practice, while “naming and shaming” those governments with the worst records. Their record Vis-à-vis Kashmir is for every body to see. The Indian chapter of AI has been fully Indianzed and has become an integral part of the Indian political theater of the absurd.
The Overall failure of the UN in upholding human rights structure can be explained in part to the failure of these so-called human-rights organizations. If the humanity has to survive in a civilized order, an entirely new structure for enforcing human rights is necessary because the institutions , processes & systems that were created long ago have miserably failed.
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. Feed back at firstname.lastname@example.org)