UN rapporteur arrives on fact-finding mission in Kashmir



The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns arrived on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmiron Monday afternoon.

This is for the first time that the special rapporteur has been allowed by the Indian government to visit the Valley.

Hayns told a news conference immediately after his arrival in SrinagarImages ] that his mandate was to visit different countries to asses the situation on right to life which is fundamental to all other human rights and report back to United Nations Human Rights Commission.

He said he will release the preliminary report in New DelhiImages ] on March 30 at the end his visit and submit the final report to the commission.

“During my stay I will be meeting government officials including those from the police, the Army, rights activists, victims and academicians etc.”

Chairperson of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, Parveena Ahangar met the special rapporteur after his arrival.

Senior advocate, Zafar Shah told the media conference “Kashmiri people and civil society have been demanding for the last two decades that UN should visit Kashmir and prepare a fact based report.”

He said, “Sweeping powers such as the Public Safety Act and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act were available to the authorities which made normal judicial remedies unavailable to those seeking judicial intervention against misuse of powers by the security forces in Kashmir.”

The coalition of civil society members also met the special rapporteur and submitted detailed reports about the human rights situation in the Valley.

He had a close door meeting with relatives of those killed in some highly controversial incidents in the Valley.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar, Rediff.com

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