Human rights groups seek release of Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez

NEW DELHI — A dozen human rights organisations including Amnesty International on Monday called for immediate release of Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a militant funding case last year.

On May 13, NIA had filed a charge sheet against seven people, including Parvez and said the accused collected information regarding vital installations, deployment and movement of security forces, procured official secret documents and passed on the same to their Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) handlers through encrypted communication channels for monetary consideration.

The NIA said its investigation had also revealed that LeT operatives based in Pakistan had hatched a conspiracy with the accused to run a network of Over Ground Workers (OGWs) for furthering their activities to commit militants acts in India.

“The Indian authorities must release Parvez immediately and unconditionally, and all charges against him must be dropped, as they are a reprisal for his peaceful human rights work,” the human rights groups said in a joint statement here.

The statement said Parvez, who is the coordinator of Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), has been a champion of human rights advocacy, documentation, and investigations including in the Jammu and Kashmir region, for over 20 years.

It claimed that Parvez was arrested on politically motivated militancy and other charges.

Besides Amnesty international, the other signatories include Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, FORUM-ASIA, Front Line Defenders (FLD), Human Rights Watch and International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). — (PTI)