AI asks authorities to release IHK bar leaders

The Amnesty International has asked the occupation authorities to immediately end the preventive detention of leaders of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association.

Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific Director, at Amnesty International, in a statement said that the detention of Bar President, Mian Abdul Qayoom and General Secretary, G.N Shaheen appeared to be an attempt to stifle legitimate and peaceful protest by the authorities in the occupied territory.

“The authorities have resorted to preventive detention under the PSA, which subverts the judicial process,” Sam Zarifi said, adding: “If the occupation authorities have criminal charges to bring, it should do so in a properly constituted criminal trial where Mian Abdul Qayoom will have the protections afforded under the law, for instance, the ability to post bail.”

The Amnesty International had previously demanded that the Indian authorities avoid excessive use of force and investigate all the deaths due to the shootings.

The President of High Court Bar Association of the occupied territory, Mian Abdul Qayoom and General Secretary, Ghulam Nabi Shaheen have been arbitrarily detained under draconian law, Public Safety Act (PSA) since July 7 and July 18, 2010 respectively. The vaguely formulated PSA allows for detentions of up to two years without charge or trial.

The Kashmir valley has witnessed mass public protests over the past several months, initially over the extra-judicial executions of three men at Machil, Baramulla district, and subsequently by killings of protesters by Central Reserve Police Force personnel. At least 18 people, many of them teenagers, were killed during a crackdown on protesters that began on June 11, 2010.

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