Stand with Kashmir (SWK) marks the International Day of the Disappeared by foregrounding the more than 3,000 Kashmiris, including children and minors, who have been arrested or detained with no charges since the Indian government lockdown of Kashmir began on August 4, 2019.
Unlawful arrest and enforced disappearances are not new to Kashmir. Since 1989, rights activists say more than 8,000 Kashmiris have been ‘disappeared’ at the hands of Indian armed forces who have used enforced disappearances as a tactic to spread fear and terror in Kashmir.
Thousands of Kashmiris have yet to be accounted for, while more than 2,000 unidentified bodies lie in unmarked mass graves found in Kashmir. Enforced disappearances in Kashmir have left a trail of broken families and traumatized children. The lack of closure has left thousands of women living as “half-widows”.
More than 7 million people in Kashmir have been under siege for 26 days. On the evening of 4 August 2019, the Indian government disconnected telephone and internet services, shut down local media, restricted the movement of residents, arrested and detained at least 3,000 people and militarized entire neighbourhoods.
Due to the communications blockade in Kashmir, the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), including members of the victims’ families, cannot draw attention to the plight of their loved ones as the internet remains disconnected in the valley. We call on the UN and the international community at-large to urge India to end the blockade, release all detainees, and resolve the Kashmir issue per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Stand with Kashmir is a Kashmiri diaspora-led international solidarity movement that seeks to end the Indian occupation and support the right to self-determination for the people of Kashmir.
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