On the eve of the third anniversary of the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the Australian Greens called on the Australian Government to do more to ensure people’s human rights are upheld.
On August 5, 2019, the Indian government, promising security and reform, revoked the constitutional autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir and split the state into two federally governed territories. According to Human Rights Watch, the government action was accompanied by serious rights violations including arbitrary detention of hundreds of people, a total communications blackout, and severe restrictions on freedom of movement and peaceful assembly.
Senator Jordon Steele-John, the Greens Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs said, “August 5th is a day of mourning for people of Jammu and Kashmir. The Australian Greens acknowledge that the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir are currently facing a humanitarian and human rights crisis that requires urgent international attention.
“The Australian Greens are calling on the Indian Government to restore and respect the human rights of the people in Kashmir and Jammu, their right to self determination and peace. The Australian Government must do more. Particularly to ensure community members are safe, and have and have access to healthcare, education, food, and clean water.”, Senator Steele-John added.
Speaking in the Senate, Greens Senator David Shoebridge said, “On the third anniversary of the stripping away of Kashmir’s constitutional protections, the Australian Greens stand in solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and the diaspora here in Australia and around the globe.
“The Australian Greens acknowledge the right of the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir to freedom and self-determination. We also acknowledge and support the work of the diaspora to bring awareness of this human rights crisis in Australia and beyond.
“The Australian Government has an obligation to raise the attacks on Jammu and Kashmir in its diplomatic engagements with India. This is about Australia speaking the truth to our friends and acknowledging the universal right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to basic human freedoms.”, Mr Shoebridge said.
“Three years after the government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s constitutional status, the Indian authorities appear to be more concerned with projecting an image of normalcy than ensuring rights and accountability,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government needs to end the assault on fundamental freedoms and act to protect minority groups at risk.”