REPUBLIC OF INDIA: Detention of Kashmiri politician is ‘blatant abuse of the law

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25 Sep 2019
[International Secretariat]

Farooq Abdullah, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, has been arrested under the region’s repressive Public Safety Act (PSA).

“The use of the Act on Farooq Abdullah is a blatant abuse of the law by the Indian government and the latest in a series of human rights violations taking place in Kashmir, where people have been living through a communications blackout since 5 August.

“The continued use of draconian laws against political dissidents, despite promises of change, signals the dishonest intent of the Indian government. Thousands of political leaders, activists and journalists continue to be silenced through administrative detention laws.”


The PSA has a long history of being misused in Jammu and Kashmir. The indiscriminate use of the PSA has allowed the Indian government to circumvent the criminal justice system, undermine accountability, transparency and respect for human rights.

The unilateral decision of the Government of India to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) amidst a complete clampdown on civil liberties and communications blackout is likely to inflame prevailing tensions and increase the risk of further human rights violations.

J&K has been witnessing over the last few days - the additional deployment of thousands of security forces, a blanket blockade of telephone and internet services, restrictions on peaceful assembly.

To make matters worse, key political stakeholders have been placed under house arrest. Important decisions about J&K are being decided by the Parliament.

The Indian Constitution, which was proposed to be scrapped by the Government of India guarantees special autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and gives independence over matters excluding foreign affairs, defence and communication. The article was seen as an essential provision to maintain the democratic relationship between India and Jammu & Kashmir.

17 September 2019

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