India Failing on Kashmiri Human Rights

Police admitted at least 144 children had been detained, and now the chief of defense staff has spoken of putting children in “deradicalization camps.”  

The government had also blocked phone lines and access to the internet. The government was so fearful of criticism and dissent that it curtailed Kashmiris’ ability to share news of births or deaths, call their doctors, order supplies, research term papers, file taxes, and trade apples and walnuts.

While authorities started gradually restoring landlines and some mobile phone services, it denied internet services. After the Supreme Court said on January 10 that access to the internet was a fundamental right, the authorities relented – only to set up government-controlled internet kiosks, with firewalls permitting only some websites and forbidding social media. This violates free expression rights and hardly complies with the principle laid down by the court that “the freedom of speech and expression and the freedom to practice any profession or carry on any trade, business or occupation over the medium of internet enjoys constitutional protection.”

The costs of the government’s policies have been staggering, and the attempt to avoid criticism has not worked. The United Nations has expressed concern, as have numerous foreign governments.

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