Published On: Thu, Mar 14th, 2019
Published in Category: Social issues

Kashmir dominates UN agenda: protest, photo exhibit & seminar

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UNITED NATIONS, GENEVA: Kashmiris dominated United Nations activities for a whole day, as Kashmiris descended on Geneva for a protest, a photo exhibit at Swiss Press Club, and a seminar on the sidelines of a Human Rights Council session.

A protest in front of Palais de Nations, was a highlight of the day, as nearly 300 Kashmiris from across Europe held a peaceful protest, condemning Indian government and army’s rights abuses, and asked UN member states to support a referendum in Kashmir. The protest was led by Altaf Hussain Wani, from Indian-occupied Kashmir, and Head of Kashmir Delegation to United Nations.

Across the city, at the Swiss Press Club, the Kashmir Delegation to United Nations Geneva organized a photo exhibit, presenting a pictorial documentation of Indian rights abuses to the international community.

This exhibit followed a unique methodology. It relied on photojournalists on the ground in Indian-occupied Kashmir who have published their work in international media.

Each picture is “dated, verified, captioned,” offering a real-time documentation of Indian abuses, said Ahmed Quraishi, Executive Director YFK–International Kashmir Lobby Group, one of the organizers.

“This way Government of India can’t claim we’re using pictures from other conflicts,” said Altaf Hussain Wani, Head of the Kashmir Delegation to UN.

Chaudhry Pervez Ashraf, former senior minister in Azad Kashmir Government, was the chief guest.

In the evening, World Muslim Congress (WMC), an ECOSOC status INGO, organized a seminar at the UN Building on UN’s first-ever report on Kashmir. International human rights activists spoke at the event. Speakers included Jennifer McKay, a researcher on India’s human rights record, Sardar Amjad Yousaf Khan, Executive Director, Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR), Altaf Hussain Wani & Hasan Bana, Kashmiri human rights defenders from the Indian-occupied region, and Hasan Ashraf, a young Kashmir activist based in London.

The Kashmir Delegation, representing rights defenders from Azad Kashmir and Indian-occupied Kashmir and activists, is participating in the 40th session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

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