The United Nations (UN) has condemned and criticised the arrest of Khurram Parvez, a prominent human rights activist in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) on terror funding charges.
UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor called the act ‘disturbing’ and tweeted, “He [Parvez] is at risk of being charged by authorities in India with terrorism-related crimes. He’s not a terrorist, he’s a Human Rights Defender.”
An Indian official told Reuters that Parvez was arrested on Monday by India’s federal National Investigation Agency (NIA). According to the official, Parvez’s residence and office were searched and a mobile phone, laptop, and books were seized. However, a spokesperson for the NIA confirmed Parvez’s arrest on Tuesday.
Currently, the human rights activist is being held under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which allows for the detention of up to six months ‘without’ trial.
Reuters has reported that the activist’s lawyer, Parvez Imroz, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Back in 2016, Parvez was arrested and detained on similar charges. Later, he was released without being convicted of any crime.
He is one of Kashmir’s best-known activists and head of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, a group of rights organisations working in the region.