UN special envoy in J&K to meet human rights activists, victims

United Nations special rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya arrived on a two-day visit to J&K to take stock of the working conditions of human rights defenders in the state.

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2011, 18:54 PM IST

Srinagar: United Nations special rapporteur
Margaret Sekaggya on Wednesday arrived on a two-day visit to Jammu
and Kashmir to take stock of the working conditions of human
rights defenders in the state.

"I am here at the invitation of the government (of India)
to look at the issues of human rights defenders in the
country," Sekaggya told reporters before heading for a
closed-door interaction with victims of alleged human rights
violations.

She said she has met various people including members of
the diplomatic corps, human rights defenders and government
officials during her stay in the country.

"I will be submitting a report to the human rights
council (of the UN) on the challenges faced by human rights
defenders and make recommendations for implementation to
improve their functioning," Sekaggya said.

Sekaggya is the second UN rapporteur to visit Jammu
and Kashmir since 2008, when renowned Pakistani human rights
activist Asma Jahangir had visited the state to assess the
situation on religious freedom.

Among the people invited to meet the UN rapporteur by
local organisers were Shakeel Ahmad Ahangar and Abdul Hai -
relatives of Neelofar Jan and Asiya, who had allegedly drowned
in May 2009 in Shopian district of Kashmir.

The death of the two women had sparked widespread
protests in the south Kashmir town as the family alleged that
they were raped and murdered by security forces but the CBI
investigation into the matter concluded that they had died due
to drowning.

Among the other persons who met Sekaggya was a woman who
has accused the Army of subjecting her husband to enforced
disappearance more than a decade ago.

Before Sekaggya arrived at the venue of the meeting, a
human rights activist, Asabah Khan, walked out alleging that
the memorandum to be submitted to the UN rapporteur had been
doctored by the local organisers.

PTI

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