NEW DELHI: In a statement intellectuals from different walks of life, and cities have come together to demand the immediate release of well known Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez. Parvez was prevented from boarding a flight to Geneva in New Delhi, and briefly detained by the police. On his return to Srinagar he was tak away by Mehbooba Mufti’s state police and has still not been released.

The statement points out that this arrest is symptomatic of the escalated repression in Kashmir. Parvez was a well known face from Kashmir, working relentlessly for rights and justice. The statement reads:

“We, the undersigned, call for the immediate release of Khurram Parvez, a distinguished and courageous human rights defender, and write in support of the statements issued by Advocate Parvez Imroz.

As we write this, Khurram Parvez has been remanded to preventive custody in a sub-jail in the highly militarized Kupwara District of Kashmir. He is expected to be produced before the court on 21 September 2016.

An executive magistrate in Srinagar issued the order against Khurram Parvez, invoking Sections 107 and 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) (pertaining to detention for breach of peace and design to commit a cognizable offence).

The actions against Mr. Parvez are symptomatic of the escalated repression in Kashmir by institutions of state since July 8.

We note with horror that since July 2016, over 80 persons have been killed, over 11,000 persons have been injured, over 1,000 persons have been arrested and over 100 ambulances have been attacked. For 70 days now, curfew has been imposed in various parts of Kashmir.

Pellet cartridges with about 400-500 pellets each have been fired, aimed above the waist, permanently blinding youth at civilian protests. Communication systems have been repeatedly shutdown; mobile Internet and pre-paid calls have been repeatedly banned, post-paid phone lines have been suspended for a number of days, and even newspapers have been shutdown for a couple of days.

The rights to freedom of speech and movement and the right to dissent and self-determination are being imperiled.

We are gravely concerned by the repeated abrogation of international law and the disregard for India’s constitutional provisions, and by the unceasing targeting of civilians and the continued denial of their civil and political rights.

We urge that the above conditions of collective internment within Kashmir require urgent attention and intervention.

The undersigned:

  1. Abdul R. JanMohamed, Professor, English Department, University of California, Berkeley
  2. Ahmed Sohaib, Jamia Millia Islamia
  3. Amitava Kumar, Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English, Vassar College
  4. Angana Chatterji, Feminist Scholar
  5. Ania Loomba, Catherine Bryson Professor, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania
  6. Arundhati Roy, Author
  7. Ather Zia, Anthropology and Gender Studies Program, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado
  8. Basharat Peer, Writer
  9. Basil Fernando, Asian Human Rights Commission
  10. Bijo Francis, Asian Human Rights Commission
  11. Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Chair and Distinguished Professor, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities, Syracuse University
  12. Deepti Misri, Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies, University of Colorado-Boulder
  13. Dibyesh Anand, Professor of International Relations, University of Westminster
  14. Fawzia Afzal-Khan, Professor of English and University Distinguished Scholar, Montclair State University
  15. Gautam Navlakha, Member of People’s Union for Democratic Rights.
  16. Ghazala Jamil, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  17. Ghazi Shahnawaz, Jamia Millia Islamia
  18. Gloria Steinem, Co-founder Ms. Magazine, Writer, Feminist Organizer
  19. Goldie Osuri, Associate Professor in Sociology and Director of Undergraduate Studies, University of Warwick
  20. Haley Duschinski, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Law, Justice & Culture, Ohio University
  21. Harsh Mander, Writer and Activist
  22. Kavita Krishnan, Politburo Member, CPI (ML)-Liberation and Secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA)
  23. Mallika Kaur, Lecturer, School of Law, University of California, Berkeley
  24. Manisha Sethi, Jamia Millia Islamia
  25. Mansi Sharma, Activist
  26. Mary Aileen Diez Bacalso, Secretary General, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances
  27. Mihir Desai, Senior Counsel, Supreme Court of India and Mumbai High Court
  28. Mirza Waheed, Novelist
  29. Mohamad Junaid, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
  30. Mona Bhan, Associate Professor of Anthropology, DePauw University
  31. Mridu Rai, Professor of History, Presidency University, Kolkata
  32. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics Emeritus, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  33. Paola Bacchetta, Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Pedagogy, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  34. Paramjit Kaur Khalra, Patron, Khalra Mission Organization
  35. Partha Chatterjee, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
  36. Piotr Balcerowicz, Professor and Chair of South Asia, University of Warsaw
  37. Rahul Govind, Delhi University
  38. Rajvinder Singh Bains, Counsel, Punjab High Court and Haryana High Court
  39. Richard M. Buxbaum, Professor Emeritus, School of Law, University of California, Berkeley
  40. Ruchira Gupta, Women’s Right Activist, Founder of Apne Aap and Adjunct Associate Professor, Center for Global Studies, School of Professional Studies, New York University
  41. Sanghamitra Misra, Delhi University
  42. Sanjay Kak, Filmmaker
  43. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, Anhad
  44. Shahid Lone, Research Scholar, Jamia Millia Islamia
  45. Shohini Ghosh, Sajjad Zaheer Professor, AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia
  46. Shubh Mathur, Independent Scholar
  47. Suddhabrata Sengupta
  48. Suvir Kaul, A. M. Rosenthal Professor, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania
  49. Tanweer Fazal, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  50. Teesta Setalvad, Civil Rights Activist, Journalist and Educationist
  51. Urvashi Butalia, Writer
  52. Veena Das, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
  53. Vrinda Grover, Lawyer, Supreme Court of India