UN human rights chief expresses concern over raids on Kashmiri activists

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The United Nations human rights chief on Friday expressed the “concern over the restrictions on communications, and clampdowns on civil society activists in Kashmir”.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet said that the “raids against human rights defenders in October and November exemplify the continued restrictions on civil society, and resulting impact on the rights of the people of Kashmir to impart and receive information, and to engage in free, open debate on Government policies affecting them”.

In her 46th session, Bachelet made the remarks while updating the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in recent human rights situations across the world in more than 50 countries.

“Despite recent restoration of 4G access for mobile phones, the communications blockade has seriously hampered civic participation, as well as business, livelihoods, education, and access to health-care and medical information.” said Bachelet, talking about Kashmir.

In the 45th session of the UNHRC last year, Bachelet gave an update on the global human rights situation across the world in which she expressed concern over the detention of many political leaders and the communication blockade in J-K.

Bachelet also spoke about the farmers’ protest in India against three farm laws. “In India, continued protests by hundreds of thousands of farmers highlight the importance of ensuring laws and policies are based on meaningful consultations with those concerned,” she said.

The UN human rights chief also criticised the action taken by the Indian administration against journalists covering the protests and efforts to curb freedom of expression on social media.

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