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Supreme Court refusal to pass order to lift restrictions a blow to J&K people: Amnesty

By Our Representative
Top international human rights organization, Amnesty, has said that the Supreme Court decision  August 13 refusing to pass an order on lifting restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), including restoring communication services, "a blow" to the people of J&K.
While the apex court did not dismiss the petition seeking to remove restrictions, Amnesty observed, what it has done is to extend the status quo "on the blanket restrictions in J&K", adding, it is a matter of "deep concern" that restrictions, including people’s right to freedom of movement, and freedom of expression and opinion, continue.
Also taking exception to detention of political leaders and activists, Amnesty said, those resisting the curfew to protest against the severe lockdown are bring reportedly responded with "tear gas, rubber bullets and pellets guns."
Sharply criticizing these “crowd-control” measures, which have allegedly led to "blinding, killing and traumatizing people in Kashmir", Amnesty said, "While the authorities have the right to maintain public order, use of pellet guns and other weapons are in defiance of international human rights standards", especially Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a state party.
Asking the Government of India to ease the restrictions on the communication channels and media and release the political leaders, Amnesty warned, "A complete clampdown on civil liberties is only likely to increase tensions, alienate the people and increase the risk of further human rights violations."

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