Kashmir Portal

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Amnesty calls for "independent" probe over Indian rape in Kashmir

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 16, 2009

http://www.worldbul letin.net/ news_detail. php?id=43207

Amnesty calls for “independent” probe over Indian rape in Kashmir
Amnesty International has urged India to immediately carry out “fair and impartial investigations” into rape claims in Kashmir.
Thursday, 11 June 2009 14:58

World Bulletin / News Desk

Amnesty International has urged the Indian authorities to immediately carry out “fair and impartial investigations” into any involvement of Indian troops in the sexual assault and murders of the two women in Kashmir.

Also, protests against the rape and murder of two Kashmiri women continued for 12th consecutive day on Thursday in Shopian district.

All shops and business establishments, banks, government, semi-government offices, educational institutions continue to go on strike.

The deaths of a 17-year-old girl and her 22-year-old sister-in-law have sparked widespread protests in the Valley, including Srinagar, since their bodies were found in a stream on May 30.

Indian officials initially insisted they had drowned, but the families of the victims have accused the security forces of abducting, raping and killing the women.

On Sunday, police said forensic tests showed they had indeed been raped and have filed a case.

Amnesty International, in a statement, said “these protests are about the ongoing failure of the Indian government to bring members of the security forces to justice for serious human rights violations.”

Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’ s Asia-Pacific director. “Until the Indian government provides accountability for the conduct of the armed forces in Kashmir, it will continue to face discontent from the residents.”

“Authorities should ensure that security forces comply with international human rights standards on law enforcement, in particular those relating to the use of force to deal with protestors. Any instance of excessive use of force should be impartially investigated, ” said Sam Zarifi.

Kashmiris see India as an “occupier” and accuse the ruling of systematic violations, killing dozens of civilians in Himalayan region.

Tens of thousands of Muslims have been killed since pro-independent moves grew against Indian rule in 1989.

In 1948, the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for a referendum for Kashmir to determine whether the Himalayan region should be part of India and Pakistan. But India has rejected to hold referendum in Kashmiri territory.

Indian security forces have been accused in the past of human rights violations, including rape and extrajudicial killings.

Authorities deny any systematic violations and say all reports are investigated and the guilty punished.

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