Plights of prisoners deeply disturbing: Sehrai

Srinagar: Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Chairman, Mohd Ashraf Sehrai on Thursday said that the plight of detainees is deeply disturbing and a matter of serious concern for the leadership and the people of Kashmir.

Strongly condemning ‘ill-treatment, solitary confinement’ of Asiya Andrabi, and her associates at Tihar Jail, Sehrai in a statement appealed SHRC, Civil Society, Bar Association and human rights organisations to raise awareness of the plight of Kashmiri political prisoners and to strengthen the support of the international community for a solution to this issue.

He also urged the rights bodies to look into the current situation and conditions of imprisonment of Kashmiris in the outside prisons and detention facilities, including the situation of women and minors and discuss legal aspects of the arrests and detentions of Kashmiris by the authorities.

Expressing serious concern over the shifting of prisoners from J&K to outside jails, Sehrai termed the move not only against the principles of morality and human rights but a blatant violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.

Sehrai said the treatment meted out to Kashmiri detainees and under trials right from the time they enter these jails is ‘inhuman’. “It is aimed not so much at physically torturing them but to break their will and determination and affect them psychologically,” he said.

He said, the DeM chief is already suffering from multiple ailments and has been now kept in a solitary confinement, which is nothing but ‘a sheer political vendetta’.

“The vengeful treatment to which they are subject to during detention includes off and on solitary confinement, unavailability of medicines and medical care and substandard quality of food including deliberate manhandling at times,” he said.

Sehrai while expressing concern at the widespread use of administrative detention without charges, trial or a right of defence, said “India continued to practice torture and other forms of mistreatment against Kashmiri detainees, particularly on the situation of the women folk and minors, and on the physically and psychologically vulnerable prisoners, who were reportedly subjected to mistreatment and deprived of adequate health care.”

Sehrai said that even when the prisoners lodged under the notorious PSA complete their term, police and related agencies are always ready with another dossier to prolong their detention mostly under fictitious charges.

“We are appealing Indian and international human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Asia watch ICRC to get a first hand account of this pathetic situation of Kashmiri prisoners by on spot inspection of jails where Kashmiri prisoners are lodged to see themselves what they are going through and take up the matter with the Indian Government to facilitate their release and shifting back to valley,” he said.

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