India Prevents Kashmiri Activist From Traveling to U.N. Meeting

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    India Prevents Kashmiri Activist From Traveling to U.N. Meeting

    By SUHASINI RAJ
    SEPTEMBER 15, 2016


    NEW DELHI — An activist from the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir said on Thursday that he had been prevented from boarding a flight in Delhi as he was on his way to Geneva to speak at a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

    • The activist, Khurram Parvez, of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, planned to submit a “civil society stakeholder’s report” to the council on the situation in Kashmir, where the death of a commander for a separatist group in July has set off clashes between stone-throwing protesters and Indian security forces. He had also planned to attend a European Union session in Brussels.

      More than 70 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the confrontations, and thousands of civilians and security forces have been injured.

      [​IMG]
      Protesters in Srinagar, the capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, on Tuesday.
      DAR YASIN / ASSOCIATED PRESS
      Mr. Parvez said he had already passed through security checks at the airport on Wednesday when “something popped up on the screen of the immigration officer’s computer.”

      “He said he had to consult someone and disappeared in a back room for the next 15 minutes,” said Mr. Parvez, who has since returned to Srinagar, the capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

      A spokesman for India’s Ministry of Home Affairs said that he could not immediately comment on the reasons Mr. Parvez was prevented from traveling.

      Mr. Parvez said that after an hour and a half, the immigration official told him that he had instructions from an official in the Intelligence Bureau to bar him from traveling to Geneva. The official noted that there were no charges against him.

      The incident echoed a decision in January 2015 to prevent Priya Pillai, a Greenpeace activist, from flying to London to speak on the effects of mining on indigenous tribes in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. She was told that her name was in a database of people not allowed to leave the country.

      The Ministry of Home Affairs said afterward that her visit was “prejudicial to the national interest” and would harm India’s image abroad.

      In March of that year, the Delhi High Court ruled in favor of Ms. Pillai’s petition against the ministry, ordering the government to expunge the “offload” notation in her passport.

      Mr. Parvez said on Thursday that he had filed inquiries with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Home Affairs Ministry, asking why he was barred from traveling.

    • http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/09/16/world/asia/india-kashmir-khurram-parvez-jkccs.html
     
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