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Amnesty International seeks release of J&K prisoners

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New Delhi: Amnesty International India has appealed to the government to immediately release people detained in Jammu and Kashmir in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement on Tuesday, the international rights body also demanded that the government restore full internet access and actively pursue trust building measures with the people of the region.

“A public health emergency is not an opportunity to bypass accountability. Continuing use of unlawful and arbitrary detention along with limited internet connectivity and medical facilities only add to the panic, fear and anxiety caused by COVID-19,” it said.

“The people of Jammu and Kashmir are entitled to live with dignity and be informed of the threats that COVID-19 poses to their health. Measures must be taken to protect people’s human rights in the region of Jammu and Kashmir and not further weaken them,” Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, said in a statement.

Data accessed by Amnesty International India from 37 Tehsils and 12 jails across Jammu and Kashmir show that at least 1,249 people were administratively detained, i.e. without any charge or trial by authorities,” it said and demanded their release.

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