Sunday, November 17, 2019

House Holds Hearings On Human Rights Issues In India's Jammu and Kashmir

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held hearings on Jammu and Kashmir in Context. The Committee sets out the context:
The Indian government’s decision to change the legal status of the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, announced in August and effective as of October 31, 2019, has attracted intense attention due to persistent reports of human rights violations, including a crackdown on freedom of expression; the arbitrary “preventive” detention of hundreds of politicians, lawyers, journalists, and other civil society figures and related fears of enforced disappearance; and the use of excessive force against protesters. The increased militarization of the security presence in the region and the economic and social consequences of the central government’s actions, including continuing restrictions on internet and phones, have also provoked widespread concern. In addition, militants have targeted migrant workers from outsider Kashmir, and have threatened businesses to maintain a protest shutdown.
A video of the two and one-half hour hearing along with transcripts of witness' prepared statements and material submitted for the record are all available at the Commission's website. These include testimony from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom focusing on religious freedom for minorities in India.